Two new books have hit as they say “all good book shops” in the last week or so, although both are technically outside of my own modelling time period they both are of interest for different reasons and whilst are of two different subjects they have both have colour in common…
The first is Colour Light Signalling for Model Railways, published by The Crowood Press and authored by my good friend, fellow modeller regular operator of both Canute Road Quay and Fisherton Sarum, Simon Paley.
Simon is a Signalling Principles Design Engineer with Network Rail so his knowledge of the current signalling scene is unquestionable.
The book splendidly fills a gap in the market for those wanting to model the current railway scene, as much information is already available for historical signalling but this brings the information right up to date.
The book, of 190 pages, covers all aspects (excuse the pun) of modern signalling systems starting with a brief history of coloured light signalling (where the Southern Railway is suitably mentioned) and then covers topics such as: track design and signalling, compression, signage, principles, level crossings, in cab signalling and train protection systems. Each chapter contains a well written and clear explanations (even for a bear of little brain like me when it comes to the modern scene), a wealth of diagrams and photographs and also relates the prototype practice back to model railways. The book also includes excellent photographs of correctly modelled signalling, so is an invaluable reference to allow anyone building a layout of the current scene to learn about and get this important element of the railway scene correct. It also includes a comprehensive glossary, appendices including details of relevant model signalling manufacturers.
I was very pleased (and proud) to have been able to assist Simon with some advice and proof reading of what I am sure will be his first book of many, that I believe will be become a go to source of information for modellers and those interested in signalling alike.
The second book recently published and provided to me by my friends at Strathwood Publishing is Southern Steam Days Remembered IV. This Landscape format book is in colour throughout, hence the colour theme of this post.
This volume, of 160 pages, covers Southern Region steam in the 1960s and includes further reminisces of ex Nine Elms 70A fireman Roger Carrell. Chapters cover: an introduction “one of those days” by Roger, Back to School days (yes the V Class), Branches and Byways, Names of Distinction, Southern Specials, Sheds & Work Visits, Isle of Wight Sunset and Through the Links.
With all pictures in full colour and most full page size they provide an excellent reference of the hues of the time and invaluable especially for those who like to weather their models (as the best starting point for any weathering project is a good colour photograph).
Although the majority of the pictures are from Colour Rail so will not be new to many of us, they are on the whole nicely reproduced (subject to the condition of the of the original image) at a good size, there are also a number of images from other sources that are not so familiar.
I enjoyed the read and many of the images have a pleasant candid element to them especially if you allow the eye to be drawn away from the main subject locomotive. the combination of the colour details and entire scenes within the photographs will assist modellers of the period and give or take a few years as well.
Both books are well worth a read regardless of your particular direct interest as they include a variety information and inspiration across a wide range areas and topics.