Pen & Sword Books

Lost Railways of the World (Book)

Code: PW033
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Many readers will be familiar with Nigel Welbourn’s long running series of books, covering lost railways in Britain and Ireland. This new book Lost Railways of the World is the latest by this author on the subject of disused railways.

The material for this volume has been collected and researched over a period of almost fifty years of world travel by the author. Informative text records the fortunes of the world’s lost railways and every country with significant disused railways is included. Lost railways are a unifying theme, being found throughout the world, from the hottest African desert to the coldest steppes of Russia.

The book has a surprisingly British flavour as historically many railways throughout the world used British equipment and operating practices. On his first trip in the 1970s the author discovered British signalling equipment in Europe. In 2020 he discovered the same firms’ equipment in South America.

The world’s top ten lost lines are listed, from the seven-mile-long sea bridge on a line that ran through the Florida Keys, to the rugged mountain splendour of the Khyber Pass Railway. Some of the oldest, largest, longest, most northerly, southerly, expensive, crookedest, steepest, highest, lowest and most notorious lost railways are included.

Quirky and other unique tales from lost railways are included, such as the disappearing phantom bridge, a line destroyed by molten lava, to one that sank under the sea, another that conveyed giant turtles, to a memorial to a brave railway elephant. The author also visited remote areas of Argentina and provides more information on the mysterious disappearance of the ex-Lynton & Barnstaple Railway locomotive Lew.

A large number of the 300 colour illustrations have not been published before, maps and stories from around the world will delight not only the railway enthusiast, but appeal to a wider cadre of readers with an interest in nostalgia, history, geography and travel. To some the book will be an informative source of information, to others it is written in a way that highlights the most amazing lost railways in the world, but either way it is a fascinating and unique book.

About Nigel Welbourn
Nigel Welbourn has had a lifelong interest in railways and disused railways in particular. His thesis on disused railways won the University of London’s Robert Davies Roberts Memorial Prize. His critically acclaimed and long running ‘Lost Lines’ series of books ran to some 16 volumes. On every trip taken at home or abroad the author has taken every opportunity to discover lost railways. He lives in Hampshire, backing onto the Watercress Line, on which he is a volunteer.

Author - Nigel Welbourn      
Publisher - Pen & Sword
256 pages
ISBN: 9781399096171 
Published: November 2022

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