Train driver stories

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ole man

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Does anybody know of any good books that tell the stories of Train drivers or firemen doesnt have to from the steam era?.
 
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Grantham

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I once read a book by Gerard Feinnes (I think that's how you spell it) called "I tried to run a railway", or something like that, written from the management perspective.

He was a manager on the Eastern Region in BR days, late steam/early diesel.

Well worth a read. If you ever find anything by the same author, it's well worth a try.
 
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I once read a book by Gerard Feinnes (I think that's how you spell it) called "I tried to run a railway", or something like that, written from the management perspective.

He was a manager on the Eastern Region in BR days, late steam/early diesel.

Well worth a read. If you ever find anything by the same author, it's well worth a try.

This will be the book. It is still available on Amazon. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tried-To-Run-Railway/dp/B0000CNOX8
 

GearJammer

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A good few years back 'TRACTION' Magazine done articles written by a fella about his railway career (as a driver) , started with him doing his training on the Western region then transfering to the scottish region, it was a brilliant read, i forget his name, i missed a few chapters/articles.

Did anyone else read it or recall his name? If it ever came out as a book i'd buy it.
 

Welshman

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I suspect today's TOCs censure reminiscences by their present drivers!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I once read a book by Gerard Feinnes (I think that's how you spell it) called "I tried to run a railway", or something like that, written from the management perspective.

He was a manager on the Eastern Region in BR days, late steam/early diesel.

Well worth a read. If you ever find anything by the same author, it's well worth a try.

I would wholeheartedly agree with that.

Also, try to get hold of a copy of its precurser - "Fiennes on Rails"
published by David and Charles [ISBN 0-7153-8926-2].

It's an excellent account of Gerry Fiennes' anecdotes while he was General Manager of the Western and Eastern Regions.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Does anybody know of any good books that tell the stories of Train drivers or firemen doesnt have to from the steam era?.

What about L. C. Jacks' "Diesels - a driver's reminiscenses"?
published by Bradford Barton - ISBN 0 85153 437 6

Also, "West Riding Engineman" by Bill Addy, has a couple of chapters on the diesel age and the HST.
Published by Dalesman - ISBN 0 85206 766 6
 

12CSVT

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A good few years back 'TRACTION' Magazine done articles written by a fella about his railway career (as a driver) , started with him doing his training on the Western region then transfering to the scottish region, it was a brilliant read, i forget his name, i missed a few chapters/articles.

Did anyone else read it or recall his name? If it ever came out as a book i'd buy it.

I think Paul Smith was his name.

In some of the very early editions of Traction a retired driver called Harry Friend wrote some excellent articles about his railway career (he was a senior traction inspector by the time he retired in 1986, and was a volunteer driver on the North Yorkshire Moors railway after retirement). Harry wrote a book in the 1990s titled 'Track Record' (ISBN 0 9522877 0 6) which described his early years as driver, when steam was still the dominant motive power in the North East. Unfortunately Harry passed away before he got rount to writing any more books.
 

DoubleD55

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I know that you asked about Driver / Firemen Books but there are some really interesting reads by Adrian Vaughan about his early life as a Signalman on the Western Region

The first was called Signalman's Morning
 

Oliver

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Also, try to get hold of a copy of its precurser - "Fiennes on Rails"
published by David and Charles [ISBN 0-7153-8926-2].

It's an excellent account of Gerry Fiennes' anecdotes while he was General Manager of the Western and Eastern Regions.

Gerry Fiennes had an important effect on the development of BR. He made the business case for the Deltics and the step change in express train performance that they brought. The first generation of class 4 diesels were no better than steam on a good day.

I think he was also responsible for the first "pay train" agreements which reduced operating costs on branch lines, and the lines around Norwich survived because of that.

Didn't he get sacked by BR eventually for being too "public"?

Of course, he wasn't a driver, so all of the above is OT, if that matters. The on-line copies of SLL Southern Pacific magazine have some good driver's tales, e.g.:

https://picasaweb.google.com/111227348661273676963/17Winter20045#5630404527129529154
 

Wyvern

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If you are interested in aspects of rail operation in the past there is Bentley, C., (1997) British Railways Operating History: Volume One, The Peak District, Carnarvon: XPress Publishing, which explains the whole line from Manchester Central to Ambergate Junction.

It is one of a series of a number covering various lines, but you'll probably have to look in ABE Books.
 

6Gman

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The Fiennes book is a classic and every railway enthusiast should read it!

Peter Rayner's 'On & Off the Rails' has many parallels - another that I'd recommend.

Very hard to find, very old-fashioned, but interesting is the little-known Reflections on A Railway Career by JM Dunn. Interesting insight on managing steam depots from LNWR days to very early BR days, including a spell at 6G (Llandudno Jn).

And my grandad gets a mention !
 

Schnellzug

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ole man

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Many thanks to everybody who has come up with books for me to read, i will put them in my wish list, keep them coming, ive spotted a underground drivers book that will also do, love old stories regarding the railway.

I do wonder if any present drivers dare write some tales?
 

Dieseldriver

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Many thanks to everybody who has come up with books for me to read, i will put them in my wish list, keep them coming, ive spotted a underground drivers book that will also do, love old stories regarding the railway.

I do wonder if any present drivers dare write some tales?

Probably no tales from the present day, although a few to look at on the RAIB website though... :(
 
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Schnellzug

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Probably no tales from the present day, although a few to look at on the RAIB website though... :(

Actually on that kind of note, accident reports do make very interesting reading for the insights they give into day to day operating. Tom Rolt's Red for Danger, for instance, gives some very interesting insights into operating practices in days gone by.
 

Dieseldriver

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I agree with you, accidents reports make interesting reading and there are generally always lessons for everyone to learn from them. My point with that comment is with the culture on the railway as it is now, mishaps and incidents that years ago turned out to be a funny story are now turned into a fill blown investigation.
 
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