Industrial Locomotives of South Staffordshire, by R.M. Shill

Industrial Locomotives of South Staffordshire, by R.M. Shill

Published by the Industrial Railway Society (IRS) in 1993, 196 pages. Hardback - c.15cm by 21cm (N6938)

From the introduction: Staffordshire occupies a key position in the Midlands and encompasses the cross­roads of the nation's transport network. Roads, railways and canals; all were built to serve the growing needs of industry.

The growth of coal mining and iron manufacture through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries provided powerful reasons for better transport than then existed. Muddy tracks hampered the conveyance of goods and increased their prices in the market place. The building of canals and railways promoted industry, for they offered cheap carriage, even o previously inaccessible places.

For Staffordshire this change began during the eighteenth century when James Brindley engineered the first canals. After his success with the Bridgewater canal, Brindley embarked on grander projects. These included the Grand Trunk Canal, which linked the River Mersey with the River Trent and the Wolverhampton canal, which split from the Grand Trunk to join the River Severn. Both of these canals crossed Staffordshire and stimulated its industrial growth.

Where terrain dictated that direct canal links were not possible, tram roads or tramways were built to carry minerals to the nearest canal wharf. In time, more lengthy 'rail­ways' were considered. Local industry benefited tremendously with the coming of the railways. In addition to public railways many private lines were constructed to aid in the transport of minerals, industrial products and manufactured goods. Thus was born the industrial railway.

Staffordshire has had its share of industrial railways, perhaps more than many counties. In previous Pocketbooks devoted to this area the emphasis was placed on the industrial locomotives and little space was given to the railways on which they worked. This present offering seeks to redress this omission and incorporates items of historical background together with details concerning non-locomotive worked tramways and railways. Transitory railways such as contractors lines are also listed where known, while other modes of transport such as canals are mentioned when they are of direct relevance.

This volume continues the tradition of the coverage of the industrial locomotive within Great Britain, a prime aim of the Industrial Railway Society, and deals with the industrial railways and locomotives to be found within South Staffordshire... In particular a concerted effort has been made to examine archive material in order to gain a better picture of the industrial scene and also detail forgotten railways.
Contents include:

Area Maps detailing locations of industrial railways within South Staffordshire.
An Alphabetical list of all firms known to have used locomotives within South Staffordshire.
A list of all British Coal/ National Coal Board locations within South Staffordshire
Details contractors lines within South Staffordshire.
Preserved locomotives within South Staffordshire
A summary of those locations such as engineers yards and dealers.
Non locomotive lines within South Staffordshire.
Index of Locomotive Builders.
Index of Locomotives in manufacturer order.
Index of Proprietors.
Index of Locations.
A selection of photographs concerning industrial locomotives within South Staffordshire

The book has 172 pages, with an additional 24 pages of plate black and white photographs to the rear. There are two photographs per page, and thus around 48 photo's in total, showing different locomotives.

The condition of the book is generally very good. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.