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Trains and train working in the heyday of BR steam - through the eyes of Alec Mayor

John Pickup


This book portrays the railway scene around Oxenholme, a busy junction station at the foot of the Westmorland fells on the West Coast main line, in the heyday of BR steam from 1957 through 1961.

It looks to convey the many fascinations of train-working, and the daily challenges and goings-on that encouraged local enthusiast Alec Mayor to keep unique and detailed records of train operation and time-keeping.

Later, Paul Irving compiled them into a narrative rich with his personal insights as a Carlisle train controller. Though express passenger trains are naturally at the centre of the story, local services, parcels and the many freight trains that passed north and south take their places too.

Richly illustrated with Alec’s own photographs and images from the wider collections of the Cumbrian Railways Association, the book draws on Alec and Paul’s work to transport the reader back to enjoy the interest and excitement of those days again.

As Ron Herbert, who spent some years early in his railway career as a train and traffic controller in Preston said, “It’s a superb read – reliving the railway as I remember it all those years ago. This was the real railway in action!”


Cumbrian Railways Association



Publication Date:



Paperback; 296 x 210mm




Black and white and colour illustrations

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