The series of reprints of the famous Ian Allan 'abc' volumes from the 1940s to the 1960s have been welcomed by both the generation of enthusiasts who used them when they first came out, as well as by those who were not around at the time. The abc Combined Volumes listed all the locomotives in operation on Britains railways at the time, with details of each class and shed codes, categorised by region or 'Big Four' pre-nationalised company.
Over the years, several of the 'Combined Volumes' have been reprinted and have proved widely popular but the Summer 1960 edition, first published in May of that year, has never been republished. It lists all the locomotives operating on British Railways in the summer of 1960 and includes the significant numbers of steam locomotives that were still in existence at the time. Indeed, British Railways had just built its final steam locomotive '9F Evening Star' earlier that year. Within seven years steam would disappear completely from the UK steam network, yet as late as 1960 a large proportion of the steam fleet remained intact. Also included are the diesel and electric locomotives and multiple units which were taking over an increasing number of workings.
In addition to the 'Summer 1960 Combined Volume', this reprint also includes the 'Summer 1960 Locoshed Book'. The Locoshed books were also highly sought after by enthusiasts, not least as they list the shed from which each locomotive on Britain's railways worked at the time of publication. Together these two volumes provide a unique and detailed picture of Britain's railways not long before the mass withdrawl of steam operation.