Industrial Locomotives of Hertfordshire and Middlesex, by Robin Waywell
Published by the Industrial Railway Society (IRS) in 2007, 408 pages. Hardback - c.15cm by 21cm (N6047)
From the introduction: This book... incorporates and describes not only the locomotives and their locations, but includes non-locomotive, contractors and preservation sites within the two counties. Appropriate maps and site diagrams have also been included.
The book... looks at the industrial locomotives and railways of Hertfordshire and Middlesex. These are two of London's "Home Counties" and today are very comprehensively given over to residential housing. It is the transition from the earlier rural countryside to this built-up region that provides the background to the information in this book. Long-term industrial activity in Hertfordshire comprised a number of factories at Watford that used locomotives, mainly in Government service, and other engineering and processing works served by the Great Northern main line between Potters Bar and Hitchin. The main concentration was, however, in the Lea Valley, from Tottenham to Brimsdown, with a succession of gasworks, factories and power stations. Extensive extraction of sand and gravel took place from the river valleys and flood plains north of Watford and also along the Lea Valley, and very many narrow gauge internal combustion locomotives saw service on tramways in these pits.
In the shorter term, locomotives, both steam and internal combustion, were used on many contracts in Hertfordshire. Both the LNWR and GNR main lines were initially built before the era of contractors' locomotives, but from about 1860 onwards piecemeal widening of both lines was carried out with the use of steam locomotives. Locomotives were used on the construction of the Midland Railway main line north from St. Pancras. Other secondary lines were also built in the late Victorian era and extensive and well-documented use of contractors' engines took place in the building of the GNR Hertford Loop line up to 1920.
After World War I many contracts were let in association with the spread of housing over the south of Hertfordshire and most of Middlesex. Many internal combustion locomotives were used on temporary narrow gauge railways, the system at Welwyn Garden City being an extensive one that has been well documented. Less information has survived on other similar enterprises, although they are known to have been extensive.
Middlesex also had a limited amount of long-term industrial activity. Factories with sidings and internal locomotive shunting existed along the corridor of the A4 "Great West Road", well known lines served the water works near the Thames and there were several gasworks with extensive rail systems. Many contracts with locomotive use were located in this county; the construction of the GCR around the start of the zo» century involved large fleets of locomotives, as did the extensions to the London Underground system rather later. From the 1920s these tended to use internal combustion locos rather than steam, one exception being the building of the Stanmore branch from 1930.
A major plant depot of the contractor Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons Ltd was located at Hayes in Middlesex and an attempt has been made to list the locomotives known to have passed through that site. Two major dealers of narrow gauge plant, George W. Bungey and M.E. Engineering, are also listed at length in the relevant section. The information relating to each county is set out in four sections as follows:
1. Industrial locations where privately owned locomotives were used.
2. Known details of civil engineering contracts using locomotives, including contracts involving the construction of many sections of public railway.
3. Preservation and Pleasure Railway locations where the gauge exceeds 1ft 3in.
4. Known details of non-locomotive worked systems which were of sufficient length to be of interest.
Indexes are included for the ease of referring to locomotives and locations listed within the volume.
The book also includes 31 pages of plate black and white photographs to the rear of the book. There are two photographs per page, and thus over 60 photo's in total, showing different locomotives.
The condition of the book is generally excellent. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.