The North Wales landscape contains everything from steelworks and collieries to national parks and seaside resorts. Thus, there was plenty of traffic to interest the various railway companies that would be established in the area. The main reason for a railway in North Wales, however, was to create a speedier link between Westminster and Ireland. Although the most important railway in North Wales was the Chester & Holyhead, the first to enter the locality was the Shrewsbury & Chester Railway, opened in 1846. The C&HR was opened two years later to connect London with Ireland via Holyhead. From these early beginnings, we explore the whole history of the railways in the area, through mergers and grouping, and the trains that ran on the lines, from 'The Irish Mail' to 'The Welsh Dragon' and summer excursion trains. Despite the 'Modernisation Plan' and 'Beeching Report', the lines to Holyhead and the Cambrian would, once again, see steam as preserved locos headed excursions from 1989 onwards, reliving those wonderful steam days. In Steam Around North Wales, Mike Hitches explores the railway history of the area in the glory days of steam. Days when the railway formed an important part of the infrastructure and thousands of passengers used the trains. Mike covers shed allocations, timetables and preserved lines in this well-illustrated book.
Mike Hitches is a prolific author, having written several railway and local interest books. His previously published work covers North Wales and the West Midlands as well as Scarborough and he has plans for further titles covering other areas in Yorkshire. Mike's local interest titles are mainly based in Wales but he is planning more for the North Yorkshire area. Mike lives in Filey, North Yorkshire.