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WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY REVISITED (4 of 6)

Previous This larger size volume is the first by Halsgrove to cover a particular heritage line a second time in a full size volume. It shows the line over the past 5 years since my first volume was published and incvludes many of the visiting locos that have worked on the WSR in recent years. Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 918 9, hardback, 238x258mm, 144 pages. Next
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WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY MOODS

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SPIRIT OF THE WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY

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SOUTH DEVON RAILWAY

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WEST SOMERSET RAILWAY REVISITED

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SWANAGE RAILWAY

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BODMIN & WENFORD RAILWAY

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Books

BOOKS

Don has had five books published of his images - Moods of the West Somerset Railway, Spirit of the West Somerset Railway, South Devon Railway, West Somerset Railway Revisited, Swanage Railway and Bodmin & Wenford Railway (all Halsgrove Press). Each volume shows steam scenes from the late 1990's through to the relevant publication date and show how our heritage lines now recreate such authentic scenes.

Don had his first book published in 2005 on his local heritage line - the West Somerset Railway on which he has been a volunteer for 23 years. Don knows the WSR very well and is able to make best use of available lighting conditions and which locations are best and at what times of day.

Railway Moods - The West Somerset Railway. The West Somerset line runs for 23 miles through some of the finest scenery in South West England, starting at Norton Fitzwarren near Taunton, where it meets the main line of Network Rail to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance, and climbs through the very scenic Quantock hills area of outstanding natural beauty until it reaches the sea near Watchet and then climbs back inland for a few miles before rejoining the coast at Blue Anchor and the final 3 miles into Minehead.

Don Bishop has captured the line working through all the seasons over some 15 plus years with a particular emphasis on steam in the landscape photographs showing the railway going about its business with the wonderful varied landscape around it. Don particularly likes to capture steam action in the months between October and April when the light is at its best, the sun lower in the sky crisper. Through the 144 pictures included in the book Don has aimed to show the WSR at its best with the aim of encouraging the reader to visit the line and contribute towards its ongoing success. A great variety of locomotives and trains that have worked over the line in recent years are seen, ranging from single coach Auto trains to 1,000+ ton stone trains for the sea defence rebuilding programme at Minehead.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 1841144452, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Price £12.99

Spirit series - The West Somerset Railway. Don Bishop has captured the line working through all the seasons over some 18 years with a particular emphasis on “steam in the landscape” shots, particularly in the months between October and April when the light is at its best, the sun lower in the sky and crisper. A great variety of steam locomotives that have worked over the line in recent years is seen, ranging from single coach Auto trains to through excursions from the national network.

Through more than 60 photographs included in this ground-breaking pocket-format book, Don portrays vividly Britain’s longest preserved steam line in all its glory.

Imprint: PiXZ Books. ISBN 978 1 906887 26 1, hardback, 110x155mm, 64 pages.

Railway series - The South Devon Railway. The iconic South Devon line runs for 7 miles through some fine riverside scenery alongside the River Dart in Devon. Formerly known as the Dart Valley Railway, until taken over by volunteers from its previous commercial owner in 1991, the line has steadily built on its strengths and has now gathered an excellent fleet of GWR locomotives and carriages creating an almost unrivaled atmosphere of the classic Great Western branch line.

The line follows the course of the fast flowing River Dart throughout its 7 miles, with many fine views of the river to be had from passing trains, from the mainline junction at Totnes through Staverton to Buckfastleigh on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park.

Don Bishop has captured the line through many visits and photographic charter events over the last 14 years.A number of the scenes he depicts are so close to the line in the 1950s that even the same engines are shown still at work today.A particular emphasis of the book is Don’s liking for “steam in the landscape” photographs showing the railway going about its business with the wonderful Devon scenery around it.Through around 150 magnificent pictures included in the book Don portrays The South Devon Railway at its best with the aim of encouraging the reader to visit the line if they have not already done so and contribute towards its ongoing success.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 919 6, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Price £14.99 

Railway series - The West Somerset Railway Revisited.
The West Somerset Railway has become one of the leading heritage railways in the United Kingdom, beloved by the many thousands who visit it annually. The line runs for 23 miles through some of the finest scenery in South West England. It starts at Norton Fitzwarren near Taunton, where it meets the main line of Network Rail to Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance, and climbs through the very scenic Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty until it reaches the sea near Watchet and then climbs back inland for a few miles before rejoining the coast at Blue Anchor and the final 3 miles into Minehead.

Since the publication of Don Bishop’s first book on the West Somerset Railway for Halsgrove in 2005, the railway has continued to grow and develop and passenger numbers have continued to rise. With at least two major special events each year attracting guest locomotives to the line, a good variety of motive power has appeared and is featured in this new book. They include the first visit of an LNER A4 Pacific, Royal Scot and of course the new build A1 Tornado which spent three weeks on the line during 2009. More modern motive power is also featured with the Western Region’s diesel hydraulic classes to the fore.

This new volume aims to show the West Somerset Railway at its best, running through the wonderful countryside and coast that surrounds it. All of the superb images were taken between 2004 and 2009 and so show the line in its most recent form and at its very best.

Don Bishop has continued to be closely involved with the WSR through his roles in special event planning up to 2008 and as Heritage Director of the West Somerset Railway Association, having now clocked up 22 years service to the railway. He has been a keen railway photographer for many years and travels widely around the UK looking for that often seemingly elusive “master shot”. Nowadays working professionally as a freelance photographer, concentrating on his steam and UK landscape images, Don has an extensive collection of images of the UK steam scene and regularly has work published in magazines including several special features on his work. He also runs workshop days for people to learn about his techniques in getting quality landscape and steam railway photographs.Through his Steam Recreations brand he has organised many private photographic charter events at steam railways around the UK, including the South Devon line, in an attempt to recreate scenes long past, with a particular emphasis on the 1950s/60s.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 918 9, hardback, 238x258mm, 144 pages. Published April 2010.

Railway series - The Swanage Railway.
The branch line from Wareham on the Southampton – Bournemouth – Weymouth mainline through Corfe Castle to Swanage was opened in 1885 by the London & South Western Railway, later to become part of the Southern Railway and British Railways Southern Region. The line closed to all traffic in January 1972 and the track was quickly lifted. However, a group of enthusiasts got together with the aim of reopening the line as tourist attraction and in 1975 were granted a licence to occupy the vacant Swanage Station.

Track was re-laid and restoration work commenced with the line being opened in stages from Swanage, reaching Corfe Castle and a new Park & Ride station at Norden by 1995. The line has since been reconnected to the national rail network for the occasional passage of special trains and it is hoped soon to reintroduce a regular service between Swanage and Wareham.

The Park & Ride facility at Norden has proved very popular for helping to get holiday-makers and day trippers into Swanage, without the parking problems that would otherwise occur, and the line today carries around 200,000 passengers per year. Using mainly appropriate Southern Region motive power and green coaches the Swanage Railway today recreates very well an authentic Southern Railway/BR Southern Region branch line.

Through this book Don Bishop shows the line in action today through mainly “trains in the landscape” type images which also show how the line blends very well into the Purbeck scenery. Through around 150 magnificent pictures included in the book Don portrays the Swanage Railway at its best – a striking reminder for those who know the line, and an enticement to those who have yet to visit to do so and contribute towards its ongoing success.

Don also runs photo workshop days for people to learn about his techniques in getting quality shots, UK landscapes and steam at work in the landscape. Through his Steam Recreations brand he has organised many private photographic charter events at steam railways around the UK, including the Swanage Railway, in an attempt to recreate scenes from the past with a particular emphasis on the 1950/60s’. Full details are available on his website www.donbishop.co.uk. Away from his photography Don knows the heritage railway industry well, having been involved with his local line, the West Somerset Railway, as a volunteer for 22 years including special event planning and as Heritage Director for West Somerset Railway Association.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 920 2, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published June 2010.

Railway series - Bodmin & Wenford Railway.
Most of our heritage railways today try to recreate the past in their local area to some degree. It is possibly easier for some than others, depending on what survives. But the Bodmin and Wenford Railway has managed to recreate the railway history of its locality to a much greater extent than most others and has indeed been labelled as the “National Railway Museum of Cornwall”.

The line has a superb collection of locomotives that once worked in Cornwall, including one of the famous Beattie Well tanks, a T9 and a 55xx Prairie tank from the steam era and Class 37 & 50 diesels from more recent times. This book shows how the steam era has been recreated by the unstinting efforts of the volunteers and staff at Bodmin over the past twenty or so years.

The railways around Bodmin have a long and interesting history. Indeed Bodmin had a railway before London – in 1834. In this book Don Bishop sets out to explain that history and how it fits in so well with today’s heritage Bodmin and Wenford Railway.Through the use of a small number of archive photos, text, maps and images of the heritage line he explains how both the former London & South Western and Great Western Railways competed for traffic from what was once the county town of Cornwall. Many of the lines in the area closed as result of the infamous Beeching Report, but the former GWR route between Bodmin Road, Bodmin General and Boscarne Junction defied final closure more than once to survive as today’s heritage line.

Don Bishop shows the line in action today through mainly “trains in the landscape” type images which also show how the line blends very well into the Cornish scenery. Through magnificent photography Don portrays the Bodmin and Wenford Railway at its best - a striking reminder for those who know the line, and an enticement to those who have yet to visit to do so and contribute towards its ongoing success.

Don Bishop has been a keen railway photographer for many years and travels widely around the UK looking for that often seemingly elusive “master shot”. Nowadays working professionally as a freelance photographer, concentrating on his steam and UK landscape shots, Don has an extensive collection of images of the UK steam scene and regularly has work published in magazines including several special features on his work. He also runs workshop days for people to learn about his techniques in getting quality landscape and steam railway photographs.Through his Steam Recreations brand he has organised many private photographic charter events at steam railways around the UK, including the Bodmin line, in an attempt to recreate scenes long past, with a particular emphasis on the 1950/’60s.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 921 9, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published July 2011.