Being situated in the centre of the UK, the West Midlands have always been the hub of the railway network. From InterCity workings from London Euston, to CrossCountry trains from the North East to the South West, there has always been plenty of variety on these passenger services, and most points of the compass can be reached from Birmingham New Street.
The West Midlands have also been a main centre for freight workings. From the once-busy Washwood Heath yard to Bescot, there is a history of a strong freight presence in the region. Unfortunately there are not as many freight services as there have been in the past, but most types of freight flows have been seen in the West Midlands. There has also been a large variety of traction passing through the West Midlands; locos visit, and have visited, from all over the country, with most descending on Saltley shed, just on the outskirts of Birmingham city centre. A real range of multiple units can also be seen in use in the West Midlands, both diesel and electric.
In this volume, Andrew Cole explores this rich variety of traction, illustrated in a comprehensive collection of photographs that span the decades.
Andrew Cole has been interested in railways for over thirty years, sharing the hobby with his brother and late father, who ignited his interest. He has been lucky enough to see many different classes of loco. He lives in Birmingham with his wife and daughter, and has been employed by the railways for more than fifteen years.