This exciting new title aims to follow the style of the successful 'Steam trails' series and record the operation of various diesel-hydraulic classes in southwest England, effectively the counties of Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, from the early 1960s through to their final withdrawal. In the process of dieselisation in the era after the Modernisation Plan of 1955, whilst the bulk of BR favoured the use of diesel-electric traction, for Western Region diesel-hydraulic transmission was selected. Based around German technology, hydraulic transmission was theoretically offered a better power-to-weight ratio and four classes of main-line locomotive, the 'Warships', Hymeks, 'Westerns' and North British Class 22, along with one class of 0-6-0,the Class 14s, were built between 1958 and 1965. In all, just over 350 diesel-hydraulic locomotives were constructed but, as a consequence of unreliability, loss of traffic and the general reduction in the scale of the railway industry, all had been withdrawn by early 1978. A significant number survive in preservation, where they remain hugely popular amongst enthusiasts.
Expert David Cable uses informative captions and descriptive text alongside a variety of unseen and previously unpublished illustrations to tell the tale of Hydraulics in the West.
Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing