bc NSW and Australian Railways, Books & Links, DVD ratings plus recommended books, rail articles and photographers.
Just ONE page on the Collecting Books and Magazines web site based in Australia.
Updated 1st June, 2014.

The Expanded
RAILWAY LINKS now appear at the end of this page.
Recommended magazine articles
RECOMMENDED railway books
YOUTUBE: Recommended for best UK preserved STEAM: ACW71000


ABOVE: A view looking southwest towards Central Railway Station across Belmore Park, Sydney, in 1926. In the foreground can be seen the approaches to the City underground railway, 
then still under construction. Six tracks would eventually pass under the catenary masts and enter tunnels a couple of hundred yards or metres to the lower right. 
The imposing building to the right is the Tivoli Theatre, destroyed in the late 1960s and replaced by Central Square.
BELOW: Below is another view of Central Station from the entry throat, 1910. Author's Sydney Mail collection.
This page is dedicated to: 
JOHN REEVES (dcd. 2005), president of the NSW RTM when I first joined that organisation back in the early 1970s. 
John was a president without peer. I hope present and future members of the RTM remember his contribution, and 
JIM POWE (dcd. 2009); who provided me with many hours of enjoyment via his movies of NSW steam at early RTM meetings.

Prior to the 1970s there were few hardbacks available on Australian railways.
The Australian Book of Trains by J H and W D Martin was published by Angus & Robertson in 1947. Its red cloth cover featured an embossed 3805, with the title picked out in gilt. Round-top-boilered 3669 could be found on the coloured frontispiece, emerging from a tunnel. The dust jacket (which I lack) featured the Melbourne Express, according to the index. Five further colour plates appeared within the 248 pages with many b/w plates as well. The thirty six chapters included The Spirit of Protest, The Zigzag Railway, The Railway Ambulance Corps and Over the Mountains among the headings.

The NSW Government Railways brought out The Railways of New South Wales and A Century of Locomotives to celebrate the centenary in 1955. The former comprised over 300 pages with numerous colour plates, b/w plates and maps, the latter, 128 pages with many b/w plates.

Nine year later in 1964, Angus and Robertson published Railways of Australia, the first really authoritative history on the subject. This was authored by C C Singleton and David Burke. It contained 120 pages, some colour but mostly b/w plates, plus a highly detailed map of the continent's rail systems. A year earlier the Australian Electric Traction Association had published the 138 page First Stop Central by David Keenan and Howard Clark. This was an in-depth book on the Sydney suburban electrified railway system.

More than a decade later in 1974 came The Shale Railways of NSW by Gifford Eardley and Eric Stephens, published by the NSW branch of the Australian Railway Historical Society. This book ran to 241 pages and had a separate map, enclosed in an envelope, which was attached to the rear endpaper. A reprint of this book was done in a limp cover and a revised edition appeared recently.

Top recommendation and my vote for BEST railway books.
REFLECTIONS OF AN ENGINEMAN and FROM GREASE TO GOLD BRAID, both by Ken Ames: Ken's time working for the NSWGR (NSW Government Railways) is covered by these two wonderfully illustrated books. Amazingly detailed, very readable whether you're a steam fan or not, you'll have some idea of what it meant to work on the NSW railways, beginning during WW2.
GEORGE and ROBERT STEPHENSON by L T C Rolt: Sub-titled THE RAILWAY REVOLUTION, this is the brilliantly researched and entertaining story of two of the 19th Century's greatest engineers. Told in fine style by one of history's finest authors. Filled with anecdotes of the time, quotes from first hand reports and the like, this truly is one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Published by Longman's of London, 1960. (John, 7.07)
GIANTS of STEAM by Jonathan Glancey: Great men and machines of rail's Golden Age. Entertaining and comprehensive look at the subject with technical details simply explained, plus a look at what steam could do in the future. Highly recommended. (John, 9.13)
TRAINS and RAILWAYS of AUSTRALIA by Jim Powe: Nostalgic look back at Australia's railway systems by the late author, with interesting recollections. Many photos not seen before, and for the average reader a potted history of all our states with recent photos of newer equipment. Published by New Holland, 2008. (John, 5.09)
MEMORIES OF STEAM by Tom Quinn: Subtitled The Golden Age of Britain's Railways, this is a marvelous book which captures the memories by way of interviews and photos, the like of which I've never seen between the covers of ANY railway book. If you buy just one railway book, this just has to be IT! Published by David and Charles, UK, 2008, ISBN-13 978-0-7153-2956-6 (John, 6.09)
SPEEDING NORTH WITH THE "ROYAL SCOT" by driver L A Earl with H N Greenleaf: Subtitled "A Day in the Life of a Locomotive Man". Wonderful book from the driver's footplate, with lineside descriptions, "how to" details; from Camden Depot via Euston to Carlisle. Includes log, LMS named loco lists and illustrated guide to both sides of the line, published 1939. Any fan of the LMS or British Steam MUST have this book. Highly recommended. (John, 4.10)
SYDNEY'S CENTRAL by John Oakes, ARHS 2002, 64 pages in card covers. Au$15. isbn 0 909650 56 x History and behind the scenes at the hub of NSW railways; many early photos and interesting anecdotes. Highly recommended.

Below you'll find listed (in date order) some of my favourite articles from various railway publications: Australian, American and English. This is ongoing.
Author / title / publication*/ date.(Date order, older first)
Morgan, David P.: God's wonderful railway, Trains, Aug, 1985
O'Connor, Riley: Case of the Chicago Tunnel trackwalker, Trains, June, 1987
Brouws, Jeff: Remember the Railroader, Trains (Turntable column), Jan, 1988
Rhine, Stan: Flying the Coop:Tale of a Stewed Goose, LRP #14, May-June, 1988
Holmes, Lloyd: The Makings of a Wheeltapper, ARE, June, 1988
Rollins, Douglas: Leaving, Trains (Turntable column), June, 1988
Larsen, Wal: On Being Mistaken, ARE, Sept, 1988
Seletto, Jim: The Perils of Photography, ARE, Sept, 1988
Larsen, Wal: After Many Years, ARE, Dec, 1988
Peyton, Ernest (Ernie) S: Fireman, TS, Jan-Mar, 1989
Holmes, Lloyd: Fog, ARE,. March,1989
Young, Andrew D: Suspended in Time (Isle of Man), LRP March-Apr, 1989
Holmes, Lloyd: Memories of Cul, ARE,. June,1989
Thomson, Max: Bendigo's Saturday Night Fever, ARE, June,1989
Benson, Ted: "We're Either Geniuses or Fools!" (Richard Steinheimer), LRP, Sept-Oct, 1989
Seletto, Jim: Fez Pliz, ARE, December, 1989
Morahan, Mick: Of N Class, O Class and Other Things, ARE, December, 1989
Seletto, Jim: A Tale of Three Locos, ARE, March, 1990
Wright, Harry: Does Anything Happen at Picton?, ARE, March, 1990
Thomas, Bill, told to Etherton, M L: A Railwayman Reminiscences:, ARE, June, 1990
Morahan, Mick: Enfield - Mecca of Steam, ARE, September, 1990
Stensvard, Arthur E: Engine Hostling at North Platte, TS Vol.7 #2, 1991
Darwin, Robert: The Canyon Creek Branch to Burke, TS Vol.8 #2, 1992
Morahan, Mick: Tall Tales and True, ARE, September, 1992
Kilminster, Al: The Little Streetcar that Could, LRP #37, September-Oct, 1992
White Jr, John H.: Railway Replicas, Past and Future, LRP #37, September-Oct, 1992
Binder, Gary E: Alco PA-1 Locomotives on the Union Pacific, TS Vol.8 #3, 1993
Rahilly, J: Bird's Eye Impressions of a Country Railway Staff, ARE, December, 1993
Stormont, John: Memories of a NSW Signalman - North Strathfield Jct, ARE, December, 1993
Stratmann, Carl: Work-Shadowing with 'H G Forsythe', SW, September, 1998
Haigh, Phil: Teamwork on the track gang, SR, November, 1998
Griffiths, Owen: A Midnight Trip to Bristol Docks, SW, January, 1999
Pigott, Nick: Ian Allan ... the man who launched a million locospotters,
TRM, February, 1999
Milner, Chris: Preservation's Future Lies in their hands, TRM, March, 1999
Crawley, John: Down, Dlddley-um, Down ..., SW, April, 1999 (Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines)
Mallinson, G.W.: Farewell to Steam - At 97 MPH Through Essendine, SW, April, 1999
Hardy, R.H.N.: The 'Poggy' Log Pt.6, SW, April, 1999
Vaughan, Adrian: Paddington-Bristol - the strategic railway, RW, April, 1999
Marsden, Colin J.: The Perfect Match (couplings & multiple working), TRM, August, 1999
Smith, William H.: The Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon Railway, SD, August, 1999
Bowden, Simon: A look at the South African narrow gauge, RW, February, 2000
Carter, Thomas S.: Harry and me & the Kay See, T, April, 2003 [re. Harry Truman]
Datri, Joe: Bridge Out!, T, May, 2003
Purisch, Malcom T.: Wartime duty: a "Yank Airman's" three-day Queensland odyssey, T, May, 2003
Patterson, Steve: Boss of a dot on a map, T, June, 2004
Meyer, Gabriel S.: Rougemere Nights, T, June, 2004
Niemann, Linda Grant: Boomer in a Boom Town, T, June, 2004
Lilienthal, Gary: Sydney to Canberra and Guangzhou to Hong Kong, RD, February, 2014

* ARE= Australian Railway Enthusiast
* LRP= Locomotive & Railway Preservation (US)
* RD= Railway Digest (NSW, Australia)
* RW= Railway World (UK)
* SD= Steam Days (UK)
* SR= Steam Railway (UK)
* SW= Steam World (UK)
* T=Trains (US)
* TRM= The Railway Magazine (UK)
* TR= The Streamliner (Union Pacific Historical society, USA)

BELBIN, Phil: for movies of NSW and other steam
MORAHAN, Mick: for 1960s period
POWE, Jim: for movies of NSW steam
REED, Noel: for 1950s period, Sydney trams
SELETTO, Jim: for 1950s period


LINKS including Yahoo Lists (=e-mail newsletters) Please advise John chiefchook@gmail.com
if any aren't working and tell me of any others you think could be included.

Page Author's home page
The Bankstown Line NSW
Cardiff Railway Workshops NSW
Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum Largest collection of railway locos and rolling stock in Australia, though NOT yet open to the public. Join up and work on this massive undertaking. NSW
C38 Class NSWGR Locos NSW
3801 SRA NSW Preservation details
Flickr Photostream You'll find my NSW rail photos here.
Free Railway Ads
Iron Horse Hobbies, Wagga, NSW
Model Railway Exhibitions in Australia
Model Railway Express Pat Hammond online
NSW Rail Transport Museum Museums and rail tours NSW
Penrith-Keswick line Penrith, UK!
RAILWAY DIGEST (NSW, ARHS) contents 1976 onwards A listing of main contents NSW
THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT A comprehensive site on the English movie of the 1950s.
Tri-ang Trains in Australia
Tri-ang model Trains A British site
Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum, Blue Mountains, NSW
Diana Ross, 'The Little Red Engine' author and illustrator

Join Trams Down Under if you're interested in the Australian-New Zealand Tramway scene. Send a blank e-mail to TramsDownUnder-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or go to the web page at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TramsDownUnder/

Join BRITISH RAILWAYS on Yahoo for all discussions on British Steam: BR, pre-grouping and preserved; send a blank e-mail to British-Railways-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Join STEAM LOCO on Yahoo for all discussions on US Steam, both model and 1:1; send a blank e-mail to steamloco-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Join Sydney Train Enthusiasts Yahoo Groups newsletter for discussion and information on the Sydney suburban railway network. Currently un-utilised since I moved to the Blue Mountains. Send a blank e-mail to Sydney_train_enthusiasts-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Date: 5/09/03 8:50:06 AUS Eastern Standard Time
From: paul.rogers@apex.net.au (Paul)
Mention of early - one might call "classic" - books on Australian trains on your web site, together with illustrations of their covers, brings back memories of childhood and adolescence (I was an early model baby-boomer, having been born in 1947).
May I add to your lists, two related publications? These are the "
Souvenir Brochure - NSWGR - 1855-1955" and the "Tri-ang Australian Catalogue - 1960/61". The first mentioned booklet was issued at a separate price to complement the hard bound "Railways of NSW 1955-1955" (which you have mentioned), and carried illustrations and text descriptions of exhibits at both Sydney Terminal and Wynyard stations. Exhibits covered a wide range of items, from tracklaying units, through various classes of steam locomotives, electric power supply systems, passenger and freight stock, to signalling. The cover of this 54-page booklet is a hand coloured photograph of green streamlined Pacific 3802 heading north alongside Mullet Creek with a Newcastle bound 'Flyer'. Surprisingly, the exhibits at the 1955 Centenary never included any suburban electric stock. This may have been caused by a late-running assembling of F39 set as a prototype power door set. The omission of suburban electric stock is notable, considering the public outcry and political responses to train safety issues in the mid-1950s.
The Tri-ang catalogue showed an impression of their 1955-type Comeng Sputnik model set leaving the northern approaches of Sydney Harbour Bridge and coasting into Milsons Point station. The model train overlays the photograph taken in 1958 of the real thing!
The availability of the Tri-ang models and "First Stop Central" in the 1960s whetted my appetite for Sydney suburban electrics, especially appropriate as I grew up on Sydney's north shore. #

Shooting Through! (Aust), Tramway memories in Sydney and Newcastle, 165 minutes on 2 discs, variable quality due to old source material, but 10/10 nostalgia. Excellent commentary.
In Steam / Visions of Steam, Jim Powe
(Aust) 60 minutes. Vintage film of NSW steam of variable quality but of great interest 10/10
Highland Rail Festival 2003
(UK), 50 minutes widescreen. Brilliant quality, highly recommended 10/10
Film Night / Steam in NSW, Belbin Video, 2005 (Aust) 60 minutes. Variable quality but well-filmed and wonderful entertainment. 10/10
Films from the Archives, Jim Powe 1994
(Aust), 70 minutes, NSWGR official films. Variable quality but of great interest.10/10
Tasmania's West Coast Wilderness Railway (Aust) 61 minutes, excellent quality, recommended 10/10
Heyday of British Steam (UK - Duke), 268 minutes on 5 discs, taken from 8mm film so marginal to acceptable quality, but of great historical interest, with excellent commentary, recommended 8/10
Flying Scotsman Comes Home (UK), 55 minutes 4:3. Excellent quality. Recommended 8/10
Vintage Steam Vols.1&2 (UK), 90 minutes. A lot of poor quality images but contains a colour version of 'London to Brighton at 500mph' and a few other good snippets, so 7/10
Lost Railways, The (UK) around an hour, closed railways of the 50s; then and now. The "now" footage is less than satisfactory, but the early stuff is of interest, and better filmed if of poorer image quality! 6/10
The World's Fastest Trains (Aust) 75 minutes, Good quality but some boring stuff from France, 5/10

Author: John chiefchook@gmail.com
PO Box 781, Katoomba NSW 2780, Australia

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