Freight Train Formations – David Radcliffe
From the dawn of the railway age, the shipment of freight was one of the cornerstones of the railway industry; indeed, it was freight traffic that was the initial spur to the construction of many of the earliest route and passenger traffic was very much a secondary business. It is only in the relatively recent past that freight has been overshadowed by the passenger business. Freight traffic could, however, come in a variety of forms, not all of which could be safely operated together and, for this reason, freight trains had to be carefully organised and rostered. Certain types of traffic – most notably the nuclear flask trains – were designed to operate alone whilst others, such as the final attempt at wagonload freight – Speedlink – could result in a great variety of wagons and goods within a single train. Covering the operation of freight trains since the end of main-line steam in 1968 Freight-Train Formations in Colour for the Modeller and Historian is a largely pictorial examination of the considerable variety of traffic and the vast array of different types of wagon – including both air- and vacuum-braked – that have been utilised by the railways over the past 40 years. The book includes a brief introductory chapter allied to c160 colour illustrations with detailed captions, presenting a selection of workings in detail, including wagonload freights, local trip and Speedlink services, as well as company trains, inter-modal workings and departmental services. All the information on formations is drawn from the British Rail TOPS system to ensure a fully accurate record of the services illustrated.