This seventh volume in the series of regional books examining the industrial railways of England, Wales and Scotland looks at railways of the former Ridings of Yorkshire, a region that once boasted widespread coal mining activities, which strongly influenced the county's fortunes throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The numerous steel manufacturing complexes, chiefly centred around the Sheffield and Rotherham area, and the one-time highly polluting coal and chemicals by-products plants are looked at, including the well-known Orgreave complex during the 1980s, a time when many coal mines and their supporting industries and railways were rapidly dwindling in number, a fact sadly driven home when examining the contents of this book.
Other industries in the county, once heavily reliant on railways, either internal narrow gauge or standard gauge, included an extensive peat bog railway system east of Doncaster, water treatment plants around Leeds and Bradford, gas and electricity plants serving some of the county's towns and cities, numerous scrapyards supporting steel manufacturing, stone quarries in the rich limestone region to the north of the county, and brick and block manufacturers in the Vale of York, all contributing to the rich industrial railway heritage of Yorkshire.
With informative captions and an array of striking and many previously unpublished historical colour and monochrome photographs, author Gordon Edgar delivers a fascinating overview of the industrial locomotives and railways of Yorkshire, essentially covering the last six decades and striving to convey the attraction of the many former industrial railways of this vast and topographically varied county.
Gordon Edgar has been photographing railways since 1968 and has specialised in the end of main line and industrial steam in the UK. Having served for two decades in the Army Intelligence Corps, since retirement he has devoted his time to his archive of railway photographs. Gordon has contributed to two books on steam railways in China and his photographs have also appeared in several periodicals. An accomplished photographer, Gordon Edgar has written several railway books for Amberley Publishing.