Light Railways in England and Wales by Peter Bosley
The light railway movement, particulary after the Light Railways Act of 1896, saw the extension of railways into some of the most remote parts of Britain. However, the timing of the Act was unfortunate, coinciding as it did with the beginning of the age of motor tranport. Many light railways, unable to compete, despite being the last to be built were the first to succumb. Others, however, have survived in the hands of enthusiasts. The study traces the development of light railways before the Act placing this form of railway expansion in the context of the financial problems experienced by the railway industry generally. An assessment is made of the impact of light railways on the areas which they served together with the overall impact of road transport. Railway histories have too often been characterized by a concentration on description of locomotives and installations. Basley's book provides the analytical approach. Use is made of primary material, with the bare bones of the Railway Returns supplemented by statistical material relevant to individual companies. This work will therefore be of interest to railway enthusiast and historian alike.