British Rail's Modernisation Plan was published in December 1954. One of the ways in which it aimed to improve Britain's railway stations was by phasing out steam locomotives and replacing them with diesel or electric traction. This came into force from the late 1950s through to the end of the 1960s, and the last new steam engine, Evening Star, was built at Swindon in 1960. By early 1966, the Western Region was the first to have no steam locomotives at all.
In this book, Patrick O'Brien and David Nicholas use a stunning collection of black and white photography to look at the last days of steam in the Bristol area, covering the stations of Temple Meads, Lawrence Hill, Staple Hill, Mangotsfield, Yate, Ashley Hill and Keynsham, as well as the area's three engine sheds, primarily focusing on Barrow Road and St Philip's Marsh.
Patrick is a railway enthusiast and photographer who grew up in Bristol. He runs the website Bristolsteam64. David is a railway enthusiast and photographer with an interest in the Bristol area. He lives in Exeter.