During the 1970s and 1980s, the Western Region was undergoing change in both trains and equipment. On passenger services High Speed Trains worked alongside loco-hauled passenger trains and first generation DMUs, while in the world of freight the last of the traditional vacuum-braked wagon load trains lingered into the 1980s to be replaced by the newly introduced Speedlink services. Semaphore signals were being replaced in Devon by new colour light signals.
There was also a contrast between the three divisions, with each having its own character. The London Division was busy with express and commuter traffic to and from Paddington and inter-regional freight traffic. The South Wales Division witnessed a procession of freight trains through Cardiff and Newport while DMUs and coal trains headed up and down the Valleys. The West of England Division experienced heavy aggregate trains from the Mendip quarries, sleepy West Country branch lines and the intensive timetable of summer Saturday trains full of holidaymakers.
With a wealth of rare and previously unpublished images, Kevin Redwood documents this fascinating period in Britain's railway history.
Kevin Redwood was born into a railway family in Exeter within sight of Exmouth Junction Steam shed, close enough to hear the shunting, which started a lifelong love of trains. His thirty year railway career started at Bristol in 1977 and over the years he travelled the network extensively, taking many photographs.