A very warm welcome to volume two of The Best of The Railway Magazine. I’d like to thank readers who bought volume one, and those who took the time to write or email some useful feature suggestions for future inclusion.
The format for this volume is very much in the same style as volume one, a selection of the unusual, interesting, and in some cases, what are still topical features, all taken from past issues of The Railway Magazine.
With a 116-year history, more than 1,350 issues of The Railway Magazine have been published, and the hard part is deciding what to leave out.
Several readers asked for some foreign articles, and this has been achieved with a feature on the ‘Hiawatha’, plus a picture spread on the GM EMD ‘E’ & ‘F’ series locomotives. We’ve also included a little Irish feature on the erstwhile Tralee & Dingle railway.
A number of the features relate to lines or subjects that are now history – lines have been closed, and locomotive classes scrapped – so I hope they rekindle memories with readers.
Since publication of volume one, additional research has been undertaken within our photographic archive and this has, in a number of cases, allowed us to scan the prints that accompanied original features. Together with improved technology, it has allowed us to achieve a more improved reproduction quality than the original printed magazine.
In addition, our close working with many of the commercial railway photographic libraries has permitted the use of some colour images, rather than all black and white, together with new material, some of which is seeing the light of day for the very first time.
Many readers of The RM will remember that it was not until the late 1980s that magazines enjoyed greater flexibility to the positioning and wider use of colour images, and to be fair, many still remember the halcyon days of steam as a ‘black & white’ era.
Delving back into our archives evokes memories and has filled me with admiration as to what lengths previous editors, staff and correspondents went to bring readers news and features from other railways around the world. These features contain information that was researched, often through personal travel or first-hand experience as a railway employee, all rather different to the internet age of today.
Past issues of The RM have shown what a golden age of railways we had before the decline of the late 1950s and early 1960s. It is said things go in cycles, and we are currently enjoying a new golden era of rail, with rising passenger numbers and travel at speeds our forefathers could only have dreamed of.
Suggestions for features from the past issues are welcome for a possible third volume, and you can send emails to [email protected] or write to us at the address on page 3.
My thanks to designer Tim Pipes, and team leader Kelvin Clements, as well as reprographics technician Jonathan Schofield, editoral assistant Sarah Wilkinson, Jayne Clement for scanning the text, and sub-editor Nigel Devereux.
I sincerely hope you enjoy volume 2.
Compiled by: Chris Milner