Platform 5 "British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock 2021" - and other editions - discussion

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Peter C

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Hello :)
In the thread about ABC Rail Guides (https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/abc-rail-guides.182073), I mentioned the Platform 5 equivalent - the British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock series of books. I've been checking Platform 5's website (www.platform5.com) semi-regularly for the past couple of months and I've just seen today that they have the newest version (2021 edition) on sale now.

Link: https://www.platform5.com/Catalogue...ilways-Locomotives-Coaching-Stock-2021-5LCS21
https://www.platform5.com/Catalogue/Modern-British-Railways/British-Railways-Locomotives-Coaching-Stock-2021-5LCS21 said:
British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock 2021 is the definitive guide to all locomotives, coaching stock and multiple units that run on Britain’s main line railways. It contains a list of every item of rolling stock in service with details of owner, operator, livery and depot allocation given for every locomotive, multiple unit and coach.

This essential reference book is fully updated to early 2021 and includes details of all new rolling stock due to be delivered in 2021.

  • Locomotives
  • Diesel Multiple Units
  • Electric Multiple Units
  • Loco-Hauled Coaching Stock
  • On-Track Machines
  • Network Rail Service Stock
  • Rolling Stock Awaiting Disposal
  • Multiple Unit & HST Formations
  • Lists of Depots & Workshops
  • Owner and Operator Information
  • Livery Details
  • 64 pages of colour illustrations
British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock 2021 also contains a comprehensive overview of Britain’s railway network today including details of the sphere of operation of all franchised train operating companies and major freight operators, plus a wealth of useful technical data for every class of vehicle.

For the first time, the book includes the following new classes:

  • Rail Operations Group Class 93 Locomotives
  • Transport for Wales Classes 197 and 231 DMUs, Class 398 EMUs and Class 756 Tri-Mode Units
  • c2c Class 720 EMUs
  • First Group Class 803 EMUs
  • Avanti West Coast Class 805 Bi-Mode Units and Class 807 EMUs
  • East Midlands Railway Class 810 Bi-Mode Units
Also includes the revised numbering of 5-car Greater Anglia Class 720 EMUs.

432 pages. Hardback. Cover Price £24.95.

Special note: The Today’s Railways Subscriber Price of British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock 2021 is £16.95.

To benefit from Today’s Railways subscriber prices, why not take out a 12-issue subscription to Today’s Railways UK or Today’s Railways Europe today and read all the latest news, features and articles every month.

From the description, it seems to be really quite detailed (and covers more classes of unit than the ABC Rail Guide 2021 - but that's an assumption I've made: I've not checked). Having seen photos of previous editions of this book, they seem to be similar in format to Platform 5's pocket book series which covers the same things. Does anyone have this book, and, if so, do you like it? I'm particularly interested to hear from anyone who responded to the ABC Rail Guides thread (link at the top of this post) who wasn't happy with that book and has bought this one to see if they like it more.

-Peter
 
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Peter C

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Unless I am thinking of something else, the 'loco & coaches' book is essentially the individual books bound in one cover.
I think it is, yes - I just wasn't sure if the Locomotives & Coaching Stock book was different because the pages are slightly larger. :)

-Peter
 

hexagon789

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I think it is, yes - I just wasn't sure if the Locomotives & Coaching Stock book was different because the pages are slightly larger. :)

-Peter
Other than being hardback, they used to be broadly the same dimensions as the paperback individual 'pocketbooks'.

Hello :)
In the thread about ABC Rail Guides (https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/abc-rail-guides.182073), I mentioned the Platform 5 equivalent - the British Railways Locomotives & Coaching Stock series of books. I've been checking Platform 5's website (www.platform5.com) semi-regularly for the past couple of months and I've just seen today that they have the newest version (2021 edition) on sale now.

Link: https://www.platform5.com/Catalogue...ilways-Locomotives-Coaching-Stock-2021-5LCS21


From the description, it seems to be really quite detailed (and covers more classes of unit than the ABC Rail Guide 2021 - but that's an assumption I've made: I've not checked). Having seen photos of previous editions of this book, they seem to be similar in format to Platform 5's pocket book series which covers the same things. Does anyone have this book, and, if so, do you like it? I'm particularly interested to hear from anyone who responded to the ABC Rail Guides thread (link at the top of this post) who wasn't happy with that book and has bought this one to see if they like it more.

-Peter
Having had both, I will say I prefer the format and layout of the Platform 5 book and Platform 5 is much more accurate - the ABC is a collection of silly little errors throughout which still haven't been corrected.
 

Baxenden Bank

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Hardback instead of paperback.

Other than being hardback, they used to be broadly the same dimensions as the paperback individual 'pocketbooks'.


Having had both, I will say I prefer the format and layout of the Platform 5 book and Platform 5 is much more accurate - the ABC is a collection of silly little errors throughout which still haven't been corrected.
Which, if I remember correctly, was the reason the Platform Five series started. Because Ian Allan took their eyes off the ball and allowed lots of errors to creep in, making the book pointless for 'spotters'. You can't tick it off if it's not in the book, and if it's in the book but doesn't physically exist, you'll never tick them all!
 

Peter C

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Other than being hardback, they used to be broadly the same dimensions as the paperback individual 'pocketbooks'.
Ah cool - never knew that. I've got a set of the pocket books from 2016, when I first started trainspotting, and I've found them to be good books for reference.

Having had both, I will say I prefer the format and layout of the Platform 5 book and Platform 5 is much more accurate - the ABC is a collection of silly little errors throughout which still haven't been corrected.
Thanks very much for sharing your opinion - I thought someone would say something like that. There's also the positive that the Platform 5 books are regularly updated by the publishers through the Today's Railways magazines, I suppose.

Which, if I remember correctly, was the reason the Platform Five series started. Because Ian Allan took their eyes of the ball and allowed lots of errors to creep in, making the book pointless for 'spotters'. You can't tick it off if it's not in the book, and if it's in the book but doesn't physically exist, you'll never tick them all!
I thought it was quite interesting that in this year's ABC Rail Guide, it specifically says it's not designed as a 'mark-them-off' spotter's book. I use my Rail Guides as spotting books as previous editions have been of good quality and they're easier to carry than having four or five small pocket books to lose, and whilst I'm not at the stage yet where not being able to tick off whole classes is an issue, it could definitely change in the near future when we can go back out and about.

-Peter
 

hexagon789

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Hardback instead of paperback.


Which, if I remember correctly, was the reason the Platform Five series started. Because Ian Allan took their eyes off the ball and allowed lots of errors to creep in, making the book pointless for 'spotters'. You can't tick it off if it's not in the book, and if it's in the book but doesn't physically exist, you'll never tick them all!
That's certainly one aspect but in the modern ones it's more technical information that the ABCs suffer from several glaring errors in.
 

Andyh82

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They are two different things really

The Platform 5 books are done in class order, and are very dry with minimal photos, which is obviously perfectly fine if that’s what you are after. You won’t get the level of detail such as seating capacities etc anywhere else.

The pocket books tend to be available at the start of the year but therefore have info up to a few months previous. The hardback book is up to date to the start of the year but therefore doesn’t come out until a few months later.

I personally find pocket books better, I find the hardback in that small size a bit hard to handle. I only tend to buy the DMU/EMU ones most years with the other two every now and then.

The ABC Rail Guide was done in operator order, and had more photos and was probably more accessible and more interesting to look at rather than being a definitive record and also covered light rail, Northern Ireland and Ireland etc. Probably better for someone getting into the hobby. This is all before the awful 2021 revamp of this book where it’s no longer as good.
 
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