Preston Station - Past & Present

Network North West : Images of a Changing Railway

By Martyn Hilbert

Jacket5/5 - Highly recommended.

Photo-album books are not exactly rare and often a bit too general to stand-out, but they shouldn't all be tarred with the same brush.

Martyn Hilbert showed with his excellent pictorial tour of the Merseyrail system, Merseyrail Electric, that photo albums can be much more. This time, he casts his net a little wider, covering Lancashire and the railways eminating from Manchester and Liverpool, examining how the railway has evolved since the 1970s.

There are two things which set this book apart from otherwise similar "album" books.:

Firstly, the photos are without exception, excellent and demonstrate a flair for shots which don't just capture the railway elements, but also the wider setting. Martyn has been amassing an impressive photographic catalogue for several decades, with some considerable skill and attention to detail. The book is not therefore rooted in the past, neither is it afraid to show the modern railway. It also ably demonstrates that today's mundane is tomorrow's nostalgia, with both modern and vintage multiple units well-represented.

Secondly, it is amply clear that the author "knows his stuff". The captions are exceptionally informative, well-researched and well-written. This elevates the book from a simple photographic album to an interesting read, full of detail.


Network North West : Images of a Changing Network is published by Fonthill Media and is available directly from the publisher, most Preston bookshops (inc. Waterstones), as well as online via Amazon. It's priced at £14.99 or £13.49 from the publisher.


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