Despite its name and the fact that the bulk of its operations were in the Principality, Cambrian Railways was based at Oswestry, in Shropshire, where its workshops were established. Its network of routes stretched from Aberystwyth and Pwllheli on the Welsh coast through much of Central Wales to Shropshire where connections existed with both the London & North Western and Great Western railways. The Cambrian was destined to lose its independence in January 1922, being absorbed into the GWR 12 months before the main Grouping.
Over the years, there has been much written about the Cambrian, but recently much additional new information has come to light in the National Archives and in local Record Offices, material that has been largely ignored by other historians of the railway. Drawing upon this new material, Peter Johnson provides a fascinating account of the Cambrian, concentrating predominantly upon the railway's standard gauge lines as the company's narrow gauge lines were fully documented in his earlier volume An Illustrated History of the GWR Narrow Gauge. Comprehensive and detailed, the book is an excellent companion to this earlier OPC title as well as to the author's other contributions to the OPC list.