Penlowry

Chronicling the development of my 5-gauge 4mm scale model railway with a few off-topic insights thrown in for free

Essential reading

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I have a number of books on my bookshelf that I’d consider essential reading for the railwayman and railwaywoman. I think it’s always worth reading about the life of railway staff from the past because you can learn a lot and it gives you a chance to laugh at their mistakes and then laugh when you make the same or similar ones. 

I also think it is important to know where the railways have come from, to understand and play a role in taking them where they are going. 

In my essential list are the four books from two great men. They are: 

I tried to run a railway – Gerard Fiennes

Fiennes on rail – Gerard Fiennes

Steam in the blood – R H N Hardy

Railways in the blood – R H N Hardy. 

I always try to reread them every couple of years. Right now I’m on the last train out of Kings Cross going back to York (after the hard work of a rolling stock engineering Christmas “networking” event) and I’ve just finished Steam in the blood and am wishing I had brought Railways in the blood with me. That will have to wait until tomorrow. 

I have had the pleasure of meeting Richard Hardy. He says in his books his work was all about knowing his staff and when I met him he took time out of his day to talk to me about what I did on the railways. 

He’s a great man. There aren’t many in his mold left.  But then, there isn’t much of his type of railway left either. 

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Author: Chris H

Now in my fourth decade, I am a rolling stock engineer and have worked in many different locations including a 7 year spell in Sydney, Australia, where I arrived with a suitcase and left with a wife and a son. I am now based back in my home county of Yorkshire where I juggle full time work, being a Dad, and trying to fit in railway modelling and visits to volunteer on the Ffestiniog Railway. In addition to my heavily railway themed life, I am interested in rugby, cricket, reading crime novels, falconry, and medieval re-enactments.

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