This pictorial review shows the changing railway scene in the adjoining counties of Northumberland and Durham from Nationalisation until the end of main-line steam in 1967. It contains well-captioned photographs of British Railways, National Coal Board and other private railways, laid out in date order to show the progression from almost exclusive steam working to total diesel working during this brief period of only 19 years.
Traffic was generated by the major industries of the region – steel, coal and shipbuilding. In addition, there were rural branch lines serving farms and communities in an era when mass car ownership, although on the way, was still a thing of the future. Both types of traffic, freight and passenger, found their way to the major routes connecting the towns and cities of the two counties with the East Coast Main Line to Edinburgh, Leeds and London.
There are three parts to the book. The three years from Nationalisation up to December 1950 take the story to the eve of the introduction of BR Standard locomotives. This is followed by the period before the introduction of DMUs and main-line diesel locomotives around December 1956. Finally, ending in September 1967, we witness the decline and total phasing-out of steam traction in the area.