Abeautifully produced railway book with rare and previously unseen images of the county has been released.
East Midlands Steam 1950-1966, by Peter Tuffrey, presents the twilight years of steam traction in the area with nearly 200 colour and black-and-white images.
Composed of just over 6,000 square miles of land, the East Midlands enjoyed a diverse system of railways in the days of steam.
These routes ranged from the main lines connecting the north and south of Britain to small branches, as well as cross-country and local lines.
As well as Northamptonshire, the book covers Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.
In addition to the cities which appear – Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, and Nottingham – a number of large towns are included, such as Chesterfield, Grantham, Kettering, Loughborough, Mansfield, Northampton and Wellingborough.
With lines formerly operated by the London, Midland & Scottish Railway and London & North Eastern Railway, many locomotives of these companies are present, alongside the Standard Classes of British Railways.
With a rich industrial heritage in the region, a number of privately owned locomotives appear at work on several sites, such as collieries, quarries and power stations.
The publishers say: "The East Midlands was a busy and exciting place for steam enthusiasts to observe and record locomotives at work.
"In doing so, a wonderful era of British history has been captured. This collection has been assembled to celebrate those distant days."
The West Coast Main Line was electrified in stages as part of British Railways’ Modernisation Plan of 1955. Starting with Crewe to Manchester in 1960, Crewe to Liverpool followed in 1962, then focussing on the southern half to London which was completed in 1965. Stanier 8F no. 48688 is under the wires at Blisworth on 28th September 1964, heading a northbound limestone train. The locomotive was Bletchley allocated at this time and was withdrawn shortly after a move to Northampton in July 1965. Photograph by the Rev J. David Benson courtesy A1 Steam Trust.
2. KETTERING SHED
A view north east from the platform at Kettering station to the coal stage of Kettering shed. Stanier Class 8F no. 48690 is taking coal on April 12, 1963. The locomotive was allocated to the depot at the time and had been since July 1952. No. 48690 moved on before closure, arriving first at Wellingborough in February 1964, then Burton, Westhouses, Colwick and finally Saltley in February 1967 before withdrawal a month later. Photograph by John Briggs courtesy A1 Steam Trust.
3. NORTHAMPTON SHED
Ivatt Class 2MT 2-6-2T no. 41219 is outside the shed at Northampton on July 30, 1963. Fitted with push-and-pull equipment, the locomotive worked at Northampton between March 1962 and July 1965. Moving to Leicester at that time, the engine was condemned there three months later. Photograph courtesy Rail Photoprints.
The London & Birmingham Railway passed through the countryside just to the north of the village of Blisworth and a small station was provided on opening in 1838. Lying between Northampton and Towcester, the station later provided an important junction for lines to the two places, as well as the main line promoting the exploitation of limestone and iron ore in the area. This led to the expansion of the station and associated facilities later in the 19th century, with extensive sidings established for the assembly of iron ore trains. Here, under the gantries for the West Coast Main Line electrification scheme, BR Standard Class 9F no. 92230 moves off with a load of iron ore on 28th September 1964. Photograph by the Rev J. David Benson courtesy A1 Steam Trust.