No. 23 - p1



    Like everyone else we like to watch our competitors, and try and benefit from any new ideas we can glean. It seems to us that British railway magazines in general have an entirely different outlook on life to their American counterparts. The renowned "Trains" magazine caters for enthusiasts, but is professional from cover to cover. If there is an article by the editor, D. P. Morgan, then it is a story rather than an article as we know it, and few writers in this country can match his use of words to paint a picture of a remote line such as the Darjeeling Himalayan. Photographs get the big page treatment - and many of them deserve it.

    Where British magazines score is in detail. For some reason we British seem to have an insatiable appetite for facts and figures. Morgan may describe a Garratt with glowing adjectives, but the history of the machine from inception is left to the British to record. What we try to do in this magazine is to mix a little of the techniques from both sides of the Atlantic.

    However, the main point we wish to make is that we are as a nation very good at tracing and assembling facts and figures. Our own Club is a good example. From a modest start, and with the support of enthusiastic members, we have built up what is probably an unprecedented volume of records on the lesser-known aspects of railway operation - and it is still growing. Many readers will by now have purchased a copy of the North Wales "Pocket Book" and be aware of the marked change in scope and format. For those who do not have a copy, we had best record that we have for the first time included maps of areas and of layouts where appropriate, and have given brief details of each system and its special features. Also included are details of any other railways outside the "main-line" networks. Our intention was to try and fill in the gaps in previous published information and put some meat on the bare bones of locomotive details. We would like to be able to have similar records on file for other areas, and the only reason that we have not attempted such a project earlier has been the vast quantities of current information that we have had to deal with. With the gradual decrease of industrial locomotives we feel that we may see daylight in the foreseeable future, so here is your chance to help the cause, as you have in the past. The Club records need enlarging with information on systems as well as the locos. So next time you write in with observations, why not let us have some notes of the layouts and operation as well. We even accept layout diagrams so long as they are not too big to fit in the Records Officers’ residences!

    Having covered what we consider to be the growth area (as the economists say) in the field of industrial railway interest at home, let us sneak in a word or two on what we consider is the area of railway interest with the most potential for growth, namely on overseas railways We have been pleased to include many articles on overseas lines in our issues, all of which have proved to us that there is a vast amount of information in this country on the subject. Nevertheless the Club’s overseas records are still in their infancy, and we have not achieved the inward flow of information that we would like. So all our globe-trotting readers please note. If you have any information on overseas railways we shall be glad if you can write to our overseas records officer (care of the Editors) and if you have something you feel is worth publishing, even to the extent of a full book, then let us have a look at it to see if we can help. As the growth factor of the Club’s publication side, we want to be in on it!