Steam Over the Roof of England: Settle and Carlisle in Steam Days - Michael S. WelchCheltenham: Runpast Publishing, 1990, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper faded at the spine otherwise a very well presented copy.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Charts ; Maps ;
From the cover: “During the 1980s the Settle and Carlisle Railway — the most spectacular route in England — caught the imagination of the British public, and became better known than at any time during its history. This was primarily a result of the furious reaction to BR s controversial closure plan which was viewed not only in transport terms, but also in the wider context of environmental and national heritage issues. Many people regarded this epic route as a triumph of Victorian engineering, which was worth saving for posterity. The result was a vigorous anti-closure campaign which prompted unprecedented media coverage.
The Settle and Carlisle, however, had not always been in the limelight. The line enjoyed a period of glory during the years up to the First World War as the MR endeavoured to compete with the rival LNWR but in 1923 under the grouping both railways were amalgamated to form part of the LMSR. The latter concentrated the bulk of its Anglo-Scottish services on the Shap route, with the result that the Settle and Carlisle declined in status, and became a forgotten line overshadowed by the prestigious expresses which thundered along the West Coast route. It remained a principal freight artery, however, and the high fells continued to echo to the blast of locomotives heaving huge loads up the notorious fifteen miles long gradient from Settle Junction to Blea Moor Tunnel — the legendary ‘Long Drag’ . The line’s remoteness and unpredictable climate made it a challenging route to operate. For enginemen working a run-down locomotive the relentless climb from Ormside to Ais Gill could be a tormenting experience. Signalmen were obliged to endure lonely shifts with only howling wind and rain for company.
For many years the Settle and Carlisle was neglected by railway photographers who were deterred by its inaccessibility and sparse service. Despite this, the author has assembled a splendid selection of action photographs. The line is seen in all its varying moods and weather conditions for which it enjoys an unenviable reputation. This album forms a unique record of a truly remarkable working steam railway depicting scenes that, sadly, will never be seen again.”