A history of Great Western Railway's direct line from London to South Wales, from the early 1900s onwards. With a focus on those who worked the line, South Wales Direct Line - History and Working includes the 'Badminton' line route, and all the stations and junctions between Patchway and the Severn Tunnel - an ideal resource for anybody with an interest in this important British railway. Topics covered include how the line developed, from the opening of the London-Bristol line in 1841 to the building of the Severn Tunnel; duties of those who staffed the stations, signal boxes and goods yards;
the upgrade of 1975: how the South Wales Direct Line became the first dedicated high-speed (125mph) rail line and finally the future of the line: upgrading to high-speed electric trains in 2017. Route and station maps are included as well as hundreds of colour and black & white photographs.
P D Rendall became a Mechanical Engineering apprentice for British Rail Engineering's Swindon works at the age of sixteen. After nine years in engineering he worked as a Signalman, rising to become Supervisor of the Bristol Panel signal box. He has an Honours degree in Social and Community History, and divides his time between work as a social historian and in the mental health sector. He is a published author on many subjects, from the 1970 Bristol resignalling to the North Somerset coalfield, and has appeared on local TV and radio.