Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

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. 


Author: Chris H

Having now officially reached middle age, 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 to two rascally mini-mes, and trying to fit in railway modelling, assisting the GWR 1014 County of Glamorgan project, and visits to the top left hand corner of Wales. 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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