Being a lover of times past railway-wise: I value having map-type documentation of British rail ownerships back 70 / 100 / more, years ago. In recent years, have had mostly two strings to my bow in this respect: the Ian Allan Pre-Grouping Atlas & Gazetteer, and Jowett’s Railway Atlas. Having in the past year inexplicably lost my years-old copy of the Ian Allan work; I acquired this Christmas just gone, the new 6th edition thereof. I see “pros and cons”, in both abovementioned efforts toward the same objective. Jowett’s has the advantage over its rival, that it includes Ireland (as at eve of formation of the Great Southern Railway); PGAG does not feature Ireland. Otherwise: overall I find PGAG easier and more agreeable to use than – though less meticulously detailed than – Jowett’s. Whereas the two cover Great Britain in 45, and 134, pages respectively (it would seem that “scale sizes” in Jowett’s vary, according to system density in different parts of the country): PGAG is in general -- in my opinion – clearer, and better- and more-systematically-devised, than Jowett’s – without sacrificing very much detail. My principal “beef” with Jowett’s, is its somewhat messy and hard-to-use set-up: to some extent inevitable, with three times as many pages as the rival publication – but this could -- I feel -- have with care, been rather less awkwardly managed. Jowett’s gives little overlap between pages (PGAG seems better on this point), resulting often in hard-to-follow / seemingly arbitrary page-to-page transitions; and often has pages of detailed urban areas, sandwiched between otherwise-contiguous less-intricate-system pages. Worth the labour, I suppose, if the more-intricate stuff interests one – just, not up my street. Also: PGAG found superior by me, in that it manages to have consistent colouring / signage for all pre-1922 companies’ systems, throughout. Jowett’s doesn’t: often, different colours used between one page and another, for the various companies’ systems.(And confusingly-similar colours for different companies on the same page !) Seeming to me, sacrificing user-friendly overall consistency, for the sake of short-time convenience for the maker. Can be annoying in a situation of – as happened to me not long ago – getting photocopies made (not wishing to physically take the bulky book with me on a restricted-area “bash”) of different pages of Jowett’s, and glueing them together: rail routes, “same owner”, abruptly changing colour at division of photocopied sheets ! Although Jowett’s is clearly a labour of love on the part of its maker; it is plain to see from the work as it stands, that Mr. J. is / was not a professional draughtsman / cartographer – his mapping has a “homespun”, sometimes messy / ham-handed, quality. PGAG is a smoother, more professional job – perhaps I’m unfairly comparing apples with oranges? On the back cover of my recently-acquired “New 6th Edition” of PGAG, it is stated, ”For the first time the atlas includes lines not built at the time of the 1923 Grouping to show the entire historical railway network.” The only evidence of this, which I actually see in this volume: is a “rough tracing” (no intermediate stops except Watergate, shown) of the Torrington – Halwill Jun. line, marked “Built after 1922”. The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch is not shown – and the SE&C’s New Romney / Dungeness branch is shown just as it was before the RH&DR was “born or thought of” – no indication of the SR’s post-RH&D-inauguration diverting closer to the coast, and shortening its final stub to Dungeness. Similarly with the 1ft 11-and-a-half in. gauge in Caernarfon / Gwynedd. The PGAG 6th Edition perpetuates the, to my mind, strange anomaly of previous editions, showing the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways running as far south as Beddgelert, and terminating there. According to Wiki: as part of the Welsh Highland “renaissance”, the original NWNGR line Dinas Jun. – Rhyd-Ddu was reopened for passenger traffic in 1922: Rhyd-Ddu – Beddgelert – Porthmadog not opened for passenger, till 1923. “Beddgelert as a terminus”, would seem to be nonsense on PGAG’s part – and why does the 6th Edition not show a route throughout south to Porthmadog, marked “Built / opened after 1922?” I see Jowett’s as being more conscientious about this kind of stuff. Another, lesser, item on this scene, for those “weirdos” such as myself who love it, is Ian Allan’s British Railways Atlas 1947 – on the “geographical model” of the PGAG – showing the situation on the Dec. 1947 eve of nationalisation – a reprinting of an actual book produced at the time. With that time having been one of post-World War II austerity: the layout is -- “annoyingly and / or interestingly” – fairly utilitarian and crude. (Colour used for the Great Western Railway is yellow, which can make things difficult visually to pick out.) Interesting to compare with the essentially 1922-dated PGAG, in respect of lines closed to all traffic over the intervening twenty-five years, and thus expunged from the 1947 atlas (which shows lines reduced to freight-only, without differentiation from their fellows which still had passenger services in 1947). Would be glad to hear thoughts of others with an interest in this field.