Well into the 1960s, the steam locomotive held sway on many of Britain's railway lines. As late as 1964, there were thousands of steam locomotives still at work, gracing everything from the most humble freight yard to the pride and glamour of the 'Bournemouth Belle' Pullman service. This book takes a look at those last, lingering days of steam, as author John Evans joins the many enthusiasts who paid their respects in train tickets and photographic film to an era that drew to a close rather too suddenly. He caught precious moments on film as steam was ruthlessly eclipsed, often on lines that themselves were living on borrowed time. Here you'll find Duchesses, Britannias, Bulleid Pacifics and many freight engines on the Great Central, at London stations, and hauling expresses racing towards the south coast. There are some 'hidden haunts' that became his special favourites. They were the places where the pride of Britain's 'Big Four' railways continued to earn revenue for their owners. He also travelled on several steam specials and has delved into his collection of more than 2,000 photographs to bring these workhorses of the Big Four back to life. These pictures are being published for the first time.
Having a father who ran a shop selling model railways probably sealed the fate of John Evans as a railway enthusiast. Spending all his money - and rather too much of his time - amassing a collection of railway pictures, he fortunately stored them carefully away. 'My education was undertaken at Northampton engine shed,' he jokes. He now lives in West Yorkshire and still ventures regularly to the lineside.