Off the Shelf - The Booksellers Blog

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19-May-2017.

19-MAY-2017. Crossrail have released their latest quarterly update, see the Crossrail Website for a full rundown. The new Elizabeth Line will start operations sometime in December 2018. There are a few books being published about the design, development and construction involved in the project, so I will be looking out for these. Also included on their website is a virtual tour of the Crossrail archaeological finds, including the famous skulls, so well worth a look. The electric trains being used are reported to be 40% more efficient than current models, so electric traction of all sorts is now taking a hold of the industry, even Volvo have announced that they will no long be developing any new Diesel engines, prefering instead to invest in electric power, following the lead from Tesla. See the full story here, Vovlo Diesel engine replacement.

26-OCT-2016. Finally a reality, the UBER DELIVERY TRUCK delivered its first load. The thought of these autonomous vehicles on our roads is still something many are unsure about, but assuming that all the 'blind-spots' have been taken care of for town driving, satnav errors and weather conditions allowed for (have you ever seen a lorry aquaplane?), then it should be very good for the industry. The first delivery made was for 50,000 cans of Beer, somehow a missed sales oppertunity I feel.  See more on the excellent FUTURISM website .

05-Sept-2015. Daimler lets loose a self driving lorry on the motorway in Germany. News of Daimler's test comes as a Japanese company, Robot Taxi Inc, reveals a plan to provide self-driving cars to people in Kanagawa, just south of Tokyo, in 2016. So this technology is really going to impact on the transport business in the coming years. As with many things these days, the most expensive component from a companies point of view, is the labour. Take out the driver and you get 24/7 deliveries to transport hubs, delivery from there next day to the customer.

I still think the delivery 'drones' idea is best kept for out of the way hard to reach places though. See the BBC News page for more, and No!, we have no plans for future deliveries to be made by drones at this time. I would like to see a drone take off with 20kg of books under it, one day maybe. Many titles added to our database this month, so please have a browse.

17-June-2015. Just when you had thought all possible ideas for rail related motive power had been attempted, (And we have books relating to 99% of them), something comes along and catches your attention. A company called Rail-Voyer is just one such example. Basically, a conveyor belt system that uses rails and self contained trucks assembled into a 'train' instead of the usual belt system. They have come up with some great applications for this idea, so have a look at their website for a few videos. This must be one of the most unusual ideas seen for a long time, (and no, we do not have any books to cover this one).  

21-April-2015. How about a country wide network of pipes, large pipes, which carry freight trains in a tube. Well, an innovative company called "Mole Solutions" are putting forward just such an idea to reduce freight traffic on our roads.   

The MOLE freight pipeline system concept is to move unitised or bulk goods in customised capsules travelling in dedicated pipelines under full automatic control:-

 

 

At least this concept will reduce noise and environmental impacts on us all, unlike the "Amazon Drone" idea which hopefully will not be allowed in the UK. Anyway, for more on this idea see the 'Mole Solutions' Website for more.     

21-Dec-2014. Goodbye 2014!. Its been a strange year, many new innovations in the transport sector, which is great news. Investment in Formula E which has to bring results to the car industry. But also the inevitable EU regulations coming into force at the end of the year. Stringent EU emission limits have resulted in a rush for class 66 locomotives for the UK. The class 66 has proved a very popular engine, with large numbers being imported for use on our expanding freight traffic market (it says here). But, no more!. Class 66's will bite the proverbial dust, as they do not meet with new EU emission targets set out for the industry. Not too sure about the Class 68's, but as they are a smaller lighter engine, they may be ok. The new larger Class 70's look ok, with some updates to the engine. See the excellent Reading University page, "Railways and Law" for more info. Have a great New Year, hopefully after buying a book or two from us!.

09-Oct-2014. The Great Central Railway & GCRN are celebrating after planning permission was awarded by Charnwood Borough Council for a brand new bridge over the Midland mainline. The new structure is key to the aims to reunify two sections of the GCR and create an 18 mile heritage railway across the East Midlands. Volunteer experts from Network Rail are coordinating the build programme with the GCR committed to paying for the work. - Click here to see more. 

23-Sept-2014. 3D printing. This technology is fast becoming a useful engineering tool. Already used to manufacture bespoke and hard to find parts for tramway systems and others, now it has jumped one stage further. 3D printing has now been used to create a car, at least the bits that can be manufactured on a 'printer'. The term printer here is used in the loosest possible sense, as the equipment used is the size of a large room and injects carbon fibre amongst other material to create a 3D assemble. Of course the metal suspension arms, electric motor and tyres are still made by convesional means (at the moment), but it is a remarkable feat considering this process has only been around a few years. See the Top Gear website for more. Here are a few examples of what can be done with 3D production, including a house that we are imformed will take 24 hours to produce, and possibly another 24 hours to dry?.

When the 3D printing technology can 'print' ready to run circuit boards, the future really is looking very interesting indeed. Of course, all this will never (hopefully for my lifetime) replace the humble book, of which we have many on all transport and technology related subjects. As we like to say, its always worth giving us a browse!.

04- Sept- 2014. OK, Something to note in your diaries. 'FORMULA E'. 13th September 2014. A brand new FIA championship featuring single-seater cars powered exclusively by electric energy. The FIA has set a timetable, rules and specifications for this new formula, see the FIA website for more. Here is the provisional calendar for the events:-

13.09.2014 BEIJING, 22.11.2014 PUTRAJAYA, 13.12.2014 PUNTA DEL ESTE , 10.01.2015 BUENOS AIRES, 14.02.2015 TBA 14.03.2015 AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA, 04.04.2015 LONG BEACH EPRIX , 09.05.2015 PRIX DE MONACO DE FORMULE E , 30.05.2015 BERLIN, 27.06.2015 LONDON.

The first races will see the teams more or less using the same car design, which hopefully will make it to the end of the track. The real excitement will come the following season, when the specs are relaxed to allow the teams to modify, improve and invent better engines and power storage, this is then providing the very much overdue investment into battery and electric propulsion technology that has so far been missing due to cutbacks in the military research and development programs, which is the normal route for new technology. Its great to see a peaceful application for a new up-and-coming technology that WILL be part of all our lives in the near future. The improvement in light rail transit has shown that power supply and storage innovation is still much needed in what is quite a new technology. Trams or light rail vehicles can use something called super capacitors, which will see them travel quite a few miles without charging, so maybe a mixture of both battery and super capacitor technology will be needed to get the most from this racing formula. Watch this space....all you want, I've no idea how it will progress. Maybe a slow lane next to the main straight that has charging coils in the road surface, charging the cars as they drive through? Its a shame that they didn't do the same for the British Touring Cars. Now that would really get the public interested. Ironically, these electric cars will have to 'generate' (sorry) a certain noise to give the same impression as a normal petrol car, so that the public can get a sense of speed! Please give us a browse, for all you motoring, and transport interests.

01-Setp-2014. The Bournemouth Air Festival this year was better than ever, with the visiting numbers up over the 1 million mark for the first time. Some great aircraft on display and flying as they should be, displays by the last two airworthy Lancaster bombers from World War Two had to be cancelled after one suffered engine problems. However, the Bournemouth Air Festival is more than just an Air Show now having display teams from the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Royal Marines including beach assaults, awesome jets, pilots, aircraft, helicopters, fireworks, entertainment, 3-miles of Pier to Pier trading (Inevitably), ground displays, street entertainers, interactive military villages and live music from local, national and military bands…this is all by the sea and completely free! except the trade stands. We have plenty of books on all types of aircraft, commercial or military, so its always worth giving us a browse!.

21-08-2014. It is very exciting to see so many light rail projects planned or being built in the UK, also around the World, as the bodies in charge of the purse strings begin to see the real worth of investing in this form of transport. Technological developments in light rail transit mean that there is now a light rail solution to most city and large urban traffic needs, with a choice of tram capacity, length, power collection, access and durability that has never before been possible. The real key though, I feel, is the development of the planning and installation stages, with a vast amount of work being done even before a rail is laid. Indeed, the thoroughness is such that even future proofing against any foreseeable weather event is taken into account. Most railway related publications now include a section on light rail transit, see Railway Gazette , Railway Technology , Rail Technology Magazine & in the case of the Railway Herald, about to include a section. So, likewise, soon we will be putting in a section for recent magazine format publications on railways and light rail subjects, which I know will be of interest to many of our customers. As always, for your hobby or transport interests, please take a bit of time to give us a browse. You won't be disappointed.

23-07-2014. It is true to say that any given technology has its own time to become useful. Remember the first use of live surface stud contacts that popped up from the ground when a tram passed over using a magnet, the power being picked up from the stud by a skate or ski under the tram? First seen in Britain in the early 1900 it seemed a great idea at the time, no unsightly overhead wires, no expensive conduit system as used in London and around the world. The only problem, (as they say when developing any new idea), is that sometimes, due to dirt, grit, bad installation, or just general wear, just sometimes, the studs would stay 'popped up' and not return to their proper place in the ground. This was when it was found that Horses started to fall over dead in the road, oh, and a few pedestrians it was noted in the press of the time. The trouble was that the materials and technology of the day were not up to the job!. Well, along came 2014, and what system have Dubai amongst others chosen for a clean and environmentally pleasing way to power trams? Now called 'Ground Level Power Supply', it is essentially the same idea, but updated. Another idea, which I am sure will become very popular, is the use of 'super capacitors', which by using special 'Charging Points' at stations, can run up to 4km without needing to have the much dreaded overhead knitting, and is thankfully, unlike in the early 1900s, completely safe for Horses. What ever form of transport you use, build, drive, sit in, or just like to wreck at weekends, be sure to give us a browse!.

11-07-2014. What would be the best possible and most abundant fuel to run say, a ship, any ship. How about if that ship happened to be an Aircraft Carrier, and, of course, American. Could the same fuel power the very aircraft themselves? Well, believe it or not, that is exactly what American scientists have managed to come up with, using the very seawater itself as fuel!. See the article "Seawater fuel: powering the next-generation of ships" on the 'Ship Technology' website. It makes you wonder if the same technology could be applied to motor vehicles and trains, bringing a very timely end to our reliance on fossil fuels. OK, next question, who owns the water? someone is bound to try and cash in on this technology. Also, what are the environmental costs involved in the conversion process. Any young technology is bound to have its initial drawbacks, but you have to admit, if the Americans with their seemingly endless love affair with fossil fuels have been working on this technology for a while, it seems even they can see the inevitable end to low petrol and diesel prices. So much for the ramblings of a bookseller, reading too much again no doubt!. For all your transport interests, please give us a browse!.

01-07-2014. Having bought a large amount of books recently on various subjects, many on railway modelling, buses, commercial vehicles, aviation and many various other subjects, it will take many months to put all of the books on-line. We always carefully check each book for imperfections, looking for any underlining, previous owners name, odd inserts (we haven't found any money...yet! mainly photographs and magazine cuttings) even old bookmarks, which in older volumes, can leave a stain or brown 'shadow' if left in for an extended period. Then there is the cleaning, ensuring any shelf dust, spider droppings (don't ask) etc are removed, getting the boards as clean as possible taking age into account, and then repairing and cleaning the dust wrapper, using our clear protective removable wrap to protect the more fragile and scarce volumes. Then there is the job of listing the books online. We use the Homebase database from ABE, which is a bit old now, but still works very well for us. In our time using computers, (yes, we did still sell books before they existed!), we have listed over 17,000 titles, carefully taking into account any defects that each might have, even slightly sunned dust wrappers, some colours fading much more quickly than others, listing all the relevant details of publication date, number of pages, weight to give an idea of shipping/posting costs, illustrations, condition of boards and wrapper if present etc, which adds up to a lot of man-hours (working 24 hrs a day, it amounts to some 3.5 years!). The up-side is that you get to know the books you sell very well, and indeed I can remember some titles from ten or more years ago. However, as I am also a book collector myself, sometimes I find myself in a position where I would love to keep the book for myself, but knowing that I also have to earn a living. Sometimes we pass books on to various charities to help with their funds, including the very successful Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway which helps to stock their Toddington bookshop. Well, better get back to my book cleaning duties, as we like to say, with new stock being added most days, its always worth giving us a browse!.

23-06-2014. Half the year has passed, and I'm not too sure were it went?. However, some Swanage Railway volunteers have over the past 12 years, been working behind the scenes to ensure another piece of Dorset industrial history is never forgotten. The official opening of the Ball Clay Museum was held recently, and means there is even more to see when you visit the Swanage Railway next. It really has been quite a success story for this railway group that have even managed to secure the mainline connection once again.

28-05-2014. Do you know how many train operating companies are now running the railways of Britain? Gone are the days of the 'Big Four', Southern, GWR, LMS and LNER, now its a cosmopolitan mix of businesses, with their individual liveries and motive power, some 23 in all!. See the full list on the 'Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) Website for more. Of course, this does not include the many light rail networks, or trams as they used to be called, which are run by various PTEs and other bodies, which thankfully are starting to flurish again in our bigger cities. Nottingham is a great example of this, the tramway network celibrating 10 years in service, and now looking to the future to expand the system. See NET website. ITs intertesting to note that some struggling branch lines may still find a future using the Light Rail, instead of the Heavy Rail option, cheaper, maybe faster and more adaptable than the traditional railway, Light rail could be extended to actually run into the town/city that it connects with, making it ideal for future park & ride facilities. What will the next 10 years hold? HS2 still on the cards, light rail systems really taking off in Europe and around the World. Maybe more automated systems are now within our reach, saving more money on operating costs, and removing the human ellement?. I would far rather trust myself to an automated tramway system than the latest offering by Google, Driverless Cars. Whatever you transport interests, Past, Present or Future, we have books covering many, if not all forms of transport, just give us a browse!.

14-05-2014. Channel Tunnel hits 20 year old this year after a 214 year history. See here for more details. OK, some things take a while to build, take the new HS2 for instance, not an overnight project. In the Channel Tunnel's case, it was technology that had to catch up with the idea. finally, after overcoming the threat of French invasion, 2 fires, a danger of rabies, and all sorts of new technology put into use, the channel Tunnel must rank as one of the greatest engineering achivements of its time in the World. With longer and higher bridges, tunnels under mountains and increasing speed across all forms of transport, breaking records every year, it makes one look to the future with a lot of interest. Space travel must be the next great leap forward, with the possibility of the first 'commercial space flight' on the horizon, it almost seems to me that the skills, technology and need have all come together at the right time. See here for more details.  What ever your interest in travel, past, present or future, for books covering many subjects, its always worth giving us a browse!.

02-05-2014. Ford's Transit is now entering its 49th Year of production, quite and achievement for what was designed as a humble builders van with its famous "8 X 4" sheet material load area in 1965. Not supprising then that a new version of this dependable vehicle has been released by Ford for 2014, see 'AutoExpress' web page. The down side for us here in the South of England, is the closure of the old Transit production plant at Swaythling, just down the road from us. The new vans are being built in Turkey, to save costs on labour etc. see the excellent BBC website link here. I remember the Transit in its motorhome form, with the not so reliable and quite noisy V4 corsair engine. what ever vehicle catches your interest, we have over 1,000 motoring book titles to look through, so as we say, its always worth giving us a browse!

29-03-2014. Being a great fan of trams, tramways and the new technology that is appearing all around us, a system that 'closes' the groove in tram tracks when at level crossings, street running etc has got to be a good idea. It seems to be called by various names, Velostrail, STRailastic and so on, but the principle is the same. A rubberized insert made up of 5 or more components, is laid between the rails, and when normal road traffic, motorbikes, push bikes etc go over it, the groove in the tramline remains closed, only when the full weight of a tram wheel is applied to the surface, will the insert move to allow proper wheel to rail contact. This makes it so much safer for cyclists and pedestrians to cross, and is easy to install. See the website (Dutch, use google translate in Chrome). Makes you wonder what Brunel would have made of it, perhaps his 'Atmospheric Railway' was before its time after all!. Details taken from the excellent Light Rail Transit Association official magazine 'Tramways & Urban Transit'. It is good to see how many countries and cities are now opting for, and indeed expanding their Light Rail networks. However, for all your Tram, Trolleybus and Railway interests, please give us a Browse!.

 

24-03-2014. The great 'Crich Tramway Museum' opens its doors for the 2014 season, much work has been done to prepare for the coming year, and a visit is well worth the effort. Preparations for the opening of the tramway on Saturday 29th March 2014 are in full swing, with tramcars being tested and commissioned by the engineering team. Blackpool ‘Luxury’ Toastrack 236 is shunted into the Workshop by the Blackpool electric loco ready for the commencement of the car’s drying out process, commissioning exam and subsequent testing to get it ready for public demonstration during the forth coming operating season. Well worth a visit, Click Here for more info. With many books on trams and trolleybuses, both in the North and South of England, its always worth giving us a browse.

18-03-2014. A date for your diary, The Wessex Transport Society are holding the 'Ringwood Bus Rally' for a second year. Due to a change in regulations however, it is regrettable that 'Dereks Transport Books' will be unable to attend this time. The date?. "SUNDAY 29TH JUNE 2014". I am sure that all those who contribute, especially with preserved vehicles, would appreciate your attendance. For books on buses old and new, please give us a browse!.

08-03-2014. I am sure that when the navvies of old built the railways in England, they did not have to contend with all the problems that the mighty 'Crossrail' project has to deal with, from ancient archaeology through to unexploded World War Two bombs!. It is also good to see that a lot of disused infrastructure has not been sold off on the quiet, but has been retained in many inner city areas enabling the next generation of 'light rail transit' to establish a foot hold without crippling costs. Have a look at the excellent 'Crossrail' website for more. We have extensive stocks on all transport related subjects, from trams to model railways, shipping to seaplanes etc, always worth giving us a browse!.

03-03-2014. FORTY YEARS ago on this very day, the first VW Golf left the production line at Wolfsburg, Germany. Since then, there has been over 30 Million Golfs built, making it one of the most recognised cars on the road today. To my mind though, the best of them all was the MK1 GTi, which I was fortunate enough to drive, but not own, as I could not afford the insurance at the time. If anyone owns one of these icons, then visit the MK1 owners club website here. For all those with books in mind, please give our motoring section a browes with will over 1,000 titles to keep your attention.

26-02-2014. An aircraft that has been seen in our skies since 1971, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 made its last passenger-carrying flight on February 24th. The replacement aircraft Boeing 777-300ERs or similar, will be more efficient, make less noise, and no doubt carry more than the DC-10. Far from retiring from the scene though, the type remains in use as a freight-hauler with FedEx, which operates over 60, as a fuel tanker and many other duties it is well able to handle. See this report from Aviation International Online for more. While you are here, have a look at our great selection of over 1,500 Aviation books for sale.

09-Feb-2014. What a horrid winter for the railways in the UK. Not only has cornwall been completely cut off to rail transport, but many lines have experienced land slides and embankment failures. It looks like the aging infrastructure is gradually giving way under the relentless storms hitting the UK at the moment. It will be interesting to see if there is talk of abandoning some railway lines in favor of buses, as the cost of repairing and maintaining the current system is going to be expensive, and no doubt the poor shareholders will be weeping in their G&Ts. See Railnews for an update, also have a look at the National rail site for a look at just how extensive the disruption to rail travel is, never seen before on such a scale. So, will HS2 be scrapped to pay for all the work? It seems a likely move, as Network rail must be wondering what else can happen, but to their credit, they seem to be pulling out all the stops to get things moving again. Just remember the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway that had to deal with not one, but 2 land slides. That for a preserved railway must have been daunting, but now magnify that several times, and you get some idea of the shear amount of work to be done to get the UKs railways up and running again. Will it all be repeated next year? Seems to be a likely scenario. It might be a good idea then, to give us a browse, as we cover not only land transport. but also all things maritime as well.

25-01-2014. Folkestone Harbour Branch to close? Network Rail proposal to close iconic seaside branchline reports www.rail.co.uk due to lack of use. It turns out that when the "railways" were privatised in April 1994, the government was expecting to see a slow decline and closure program from the new companies, a bit like Beeching by stealth. What a surprise to all then, when rail travel and freight actually started to increase. Thankfully for us all, legislation was in place to slow down the closing of lines etc until a sound case could be made for doing so. this bought enough time for said change in railway usage to take effect, so saving any closures that were on the table. In fact, there has now been a number of line re-openings around the country, something not thought of in 1994 when this all started. From our point of view, it has been very interesting to see train companies come and go, along with all manor of different liveries and marketing ideas. But the best part must be to see a healthy railway system being well funded, ready for another generation to use and enjoy. We have many many books on all aspects of railway history, design, and even modelling, as we like to say, it is always good to give us a browes!.

11-01-2014. Nostalgia has a strange way of seeing through rose tinted spectacles, especially when it comes to remembering old trams and the like. On a recent visit to the excellent 'Crich Tramway Museum' it was a pleasure to ride on the completely restored and no doubt improved trams that were running on the day, silent, fast, comfortable, clean......ahhh, those were the days!. Well, an article caught my attention in the May 1978 edition of that wonderful publication, 'Modern Tramway and Light Rapid Transit', of which I have currently obtained a few years worth of reading. It describes the then Calcutta transport systems, in particular the state of some of the vehicles that seemed to be virtually indestructible. The paragraph reads, "The foregoing recitation of dry facts conveys very little of the ambiance of Calcutta bus operation, which is probably without parallel, and never fails to evoke disbelief from first-time visitors to the city. It would not be invoking hyperbole too much to describe the typical Calcutta double-deck bus as being a vehicle adorned in stained red-brown paint liberally pock-marked with dents of shinning aluminum testifying its more recent skirmishes; the nearside shock-absorbers have probably collapsed under the strain, and the back platform might have sunk until support is provided only by the road surface itself, along which it progresses in a shower of sparks. The engine percusses like a foundry, often emitting steam from the radiator and always a jet of opaque hydrocarbons from the exhaust pipe; several body panels may be missing, and the sight of a passenger's leg is not unknown; windows may be missing too, and some of these may have been replaced by sheet metal pierced with a small porthole. The loads carried are enormous and, despite only 72 seats, up to 140 passengers will be disported upstairs and down, on the stairs and on the platforms, whilst latecomers will cling to each other in festoons around the entrances. These great metal arks of the road are driven at speed with considerable panache from one traffic jam the the next". O.K., probably an extreme case of rose tinted nostalgia required to remember those Calcutta buses with fondness, but I think the point has been made. Which is why I was very grateful to be able to pick up a collection of tram and tramway modelling books this morning, from a wonderful couple, the husband being the railway/tram enthusiast of the house. Unfortunately, due to age and the need to down size, this collection was put up for sale. So, if buses, trams or any other form of transport gets you interested, please give us a browse.

05-01-14. To me, privatisation was not a good thing for the railways, but seeing this (New UK Rail Report 2013 Now Available), it seems I will have to eat my words. Any method of getting freight back on to our railways has got to be good, and the report states that since privatisation, freight on our lines has increased some 60%. Now, either hardly any freight was being carried on the railways, in which case this figure is not remarkable, or private carriers have seen what the railways have been trying to turn a blind eye to all this time, I.E. Freight + Railways = profit. A better idea will be given at the "10th International Railway Infrastructure Exhibition" held at Earls Court, London on 20-22nd MAY 2014. For all your railway book interest, please give us a browse.

06-12-2013. Shell Australia have now officially got the largest floating structure in the World. At 600,000 tons, possibly the heaviest as well. It has been built as a giant gas plateform for working off the North Western coast of Australia, called the Prelude, it is designed to take in the equivalent of 110,000 barrels of oil per day in natural gas and cool it into liquefied natural gas for transport and sale in Asia. It will float above the gas fields it is pumping from. Click here for more. Video here.

02-12-13. Saab makes a welcome return, production starting with its petrol saloon 9-3 car at its Trollhättan factory. Saab's new owner, National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS), a Chinese-Japanese consortium created solely to buy Saab will now have to restructure its supply chain, and dealership outlets, so a lot of work to do. Apparently the new model 9-3 will have a turbocharged engine, something Saab made mainstream with the Saab 900 Turbo model many years ago. I wonder how long before we see an all new Saab Electic car in production, see here for more:- "SAAB" While on the subject, now would be a good time to buy books on the history and development of this car manufacturer, along with many, many others that we hold in stock. In fact, we have nearly 1,000 books on motoring alone. Its always worth giving us a browse!

20-11-13. When it comes to moving large loads in the air, you need a large aircraft, and they don't come much bigger than this one. The Russian built Antonov 225. Just look at a few of these pictures of The World's largest plane at Niagara Falls Airport :-

It could be worse, how about landing at the wrong airport? See :- Boeing 747 jumbo jet stuck after mistakenly landing at tiny Kansas airport. A case of, "Should have gone to that well known spectical establishment" I suspect. Or could it be the SatNav map was out of date? Ah well, better find the parking meter!. We have plenty of books on aircraft of all sizes, and all aspects of aviation including modelling, so please give us a browse.

20-10-13. Why has this taken so long to develop? Such a good idea, and yet one that has been just around the corner for maybe 100 years. The idea?, the Tram-Train. Yes, a vehicle that can just as easily travel at speed on our 'heavy rail' lines, but then just as seamlessly take you through the LRT systems into the heart of a city centre via street lines. The concept would seem to be straight forward, but I am sure that the complexities of both design and operation have been beyond us until now. Each technology has its own time.See the link here, 'Tram-Train' for more informotion. As usual, please give us a browse, as we have an extensive collection of books on trams, trolleybuses and buses.

17-10-13. Its good to see that the time for Light Rail Transit, LRT, or even the re-opening of many railway lines are planned or are in the course of being re-instated. This short artiticle is from the "railnews" website:- 'South Wales Metro included in major spending plan, The Welsh Government has unveiled plans to invest £62 million in rail and other public transport routes in the Valleys area of South Wales, and work could begin this year. Routes likely to be opened or restored include a light rail system in Cardiff and the rebuilding of some former railway lines'. Having seen first hand the closure of many of these lines, the idea of seeing them in use again is very encouraging. If you would like to be kept in touch with all the various systems now in use or even being expanded, opened, then why not join the "LRTA — The Light Rail Transit Association", which keeps up to date with all the latest in design and technology. We have many books on buses, trams and railways, as we say. its always worth giving us a browse.

14-09-2013. It was 50 years ago that the first SR-N5 Hovercraft was built, The SR.N5 hovercraft mainly saw service in the military and coastguard, and was honored in a service at the 'Hovercraft Museum' in Lee-On-Solent', it received the Engineering Heritage Award from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. As a young boy, I can remember taking a trip in a hovercraft from Southsea beach, across to the Isle of Wight. The first thing that got me was the noise. The craft was always on tick-over while the passengers were unloaded and loaded, then the engine(s) roared into life, lifting the craft and contents on its cushion of air, as it slid gently onto the water, then came the hard jarring ride across the water, spray in all directions so not much to see, and after the journeys end, the taste of aviation fuel in the mouth, that seemed to stay for a long time afterwards. But what a thrill, and I am so pleased that my Dad took me across in the newfangled transport. . I believe that the Hovercraft across the Solent was the later SR.N6, but don't quote me. Just to add that we have some books on the Hovercraft, but we were not sure to list them under Aviation or Maritime!.

25-08-2013. Are we justified in at least admiring the timing of the latest statement from the Association of Train Operating Companies, which came shortly before the announcement that all railway season ticket prices are to be substantially increased. We mention this because as an enthusiast for trains and also motor sport, it was this headline which caught our attention. It reads " Train Companies Using `F1 style'. Technology to Make Trains More Reliable". Then the report goes on to spell out for us some of the ideas and technologies that are going to be used to run our future trains. Lets just mention a few, to wet your appetite as it were. How about `Pitstop' style maintenance to give faster turnaround, so trains spend more time out on the track and less in the depot. Then there is `Telemetry', where sensors measure anything from brake temperatures to wear on key parts, meaning potential problems can be fixed before a train fails on its journey, causing travellers delays. There is more which you can read for yourselves on the ATOC website, but just to confirm that there is already a tie-in between railways and Formula 1, William's of racing car fame announce they are getting a lot of interest from railway companies in what they call their green technology expertise. Just the thing to cheer up our average strap-hanging railway traveller on his daily journey into town. Anyway, enough of that but whether you are interested in the history or future of railways or motor sport we have over 4,600 books for sale on-line on motoring and railways. As we say. its always worth giving us a browse.

03-08-2013. Usually, an ink inscription in a book he is checking with a view to selling, is bad news to the bookseller, but sometimes the inscription can be so intriguing it has an interest in its own right. Such a one I found the other day whilst checking through the book titled `Land Title Origins - A Tale of Force and Fraud' by Alfred Chandler', and published by the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation of New York, in 1945. The inscription is written in a neat but spidery hand on the front end-paper, and here it is in full, exactly as written:-

" This book was received on 1 March '46 The address was as follows:- Mr ( ? Alfred ) Surridge formerly trader in sports equipment occasionally a player professionally for Northamptonshire County Cricket Club. Previously dispatch rider RASC fifth army World War 1 Northampton England". In top left hand corner:- "If not delivered, please deliver free to any public library".

Now Wikipedia tells us that a Stuart Surridge played professional cricket for Surrey from 1947 to 1959 , becoming one of that Counties most successful cricket captains ever. We also know that in 1946 he was playing in the Minor Counties, Northampton perhaps?. Further , Wikepedia tells us that Surridge came from the family that make the famous Surridge cricket bat. It all seems to tie in nicely, except that as Surridge was 29 years old in 1946 it must have been the Second World War the inscription writer was referring to him as formally a dispatch rider, and for it all to tie in nicely, he hopefully got the Christian name wrong, he did put a query sign by it after all. Yet after all that why did someone in America ? go to all that trouble to post a book about American Land Titles using such an obscure address and knowing it might not be delivered anyway. Intriguing isn't it. Hopeful we shall have a more accurate address to post it to when we sell it. It is on our data- base No. 15868, along with many others without any inscriptions at all of course.

28-07-2013. Another month nearly over, and more great books added to our inventory. Also, we have been sent some very interesting pictures recently, a few which are posted here for your amusement, or amazement.

10-07-2013. At last, we have managed to get a small selection of our books on Commercial Vehicles together, and on to our website. We have many more books on this fascinating subject yet to put on, so please keep us in mind. For those of you who have not bought from us before, a quick explanation is in order. Welcome to Dereks Transport Books. This is our own private website designed and operated by ourselves. We pay no commissions and only a very small rent for the webspace and hosting (by the excellent one.com), which means we can offer especially good deals to those willing to pay by cheque or pay-pal (also now Bank Transfer). Just browse and see for yourselves. Its simple and uncomplicated thats how we like it, and it means we can offer real value for money. I hope you agree.

01-07-2013. A big thank you to all who supported us at the 'Ringwood Bus Rally'. Some 14 very well looked after buses turned up, all at the owners expense, not only that but they provided trips for the visitors around the area as well. 'The Wessex Transport Society' tell me that this event will be held again next year, so something to look forward to. Here are a few pictures taken on the day. .

23-06-2012. Perhaps an interest in railway history is not common among naturalists or bird-lovers. For all that I would like to share this reprinting of a letter with you all as I think it should interest both. It is taken from `The Times' dated 25th May 1878, and quoted by Clifford Moresly in his book `News From the English Countryside' Slightly abbreviated by myself it reads: "Dear Sir. Last year you recorded the curious incident of a Water Wagtail that had built her nest on the framework underneath a third-class carriage on the London and South Western Railway running between Cosham and Havant (near Portsmouth) four times daily, about 40 miles in all, while the male bird was observed waiting with obvious anxiety for the return of his family from these regular round trips, by the station master amongst others. This letter is to report the remarkable coincidence that this year the same bird (we believe) has returned and built her nest in precisely the same position beneath the railway carriage, as last year, and that with her family of four makes the same journey as last year, with the male bird again having the same anxious wait until their return to the trains usual siding, where he enters the nest doubtless to exercise his authority as a good father should" The writer of the letter does suggest that the reason for the positioning of the nest could have been its distance from the engine, Could be I suppose, but as I have difficulty in telling the difference between a budgerigar and a chaffinch I am in no position to comment. However I can mention that though we do specialise in transport books we do have over 200 titles covering natural history subjects. As we like to say, Whatever your interest its always worth giving us a browse.

13-06-20130. Many of our customers are interested in buses, and 'The Wessex Transport Society' has arranged to hold possibly its first "RINGWOOD BUS RALLY" This is being held in the Ringwood Lorry Park (Just off the A31 Roundabout behind the long stay car park) on Sunday 30th June 2013. Free admission starting at 9:00AM and through to 5:00PM. There will be a Static Display of Buses, Free Rides to Scenic Locations (its says here), and there will be Transport Memorabilia Stalls, and of course, our book stall. We look forward to your support.

02-06-2013. Summer is here at last?. So, make the most of it and get out and about while the weather holds. The New Forest area holds many attractions for the visitor of course, For those who enjoy walking and cycling there are its areas of open heathland and ancient woodlands, Not so well known we suggest is the attraction for those interested in industrial history It's official name is the Sway Tower, after the village it is situated in, or 'Peterson's Folly' as it is called locally, after the man who built it. But if a 'Folly' is 'as my Chambers Dictionary defines it " A great useless structure, or one left unfinished, having been begun without reckoning of the cost" then this Folly is a pretty unique one, and the reason for that is that this Folly or Tower is built entirely of concrete without any reinforcement,and although built in the years 1879 to 1886 its height at 218 feet makes it to this day the world's tallest non-reinforced concrete structure. The reason Peterson built it was to prove the use of Portland cement which had been patented in 1824. as a structural material. It was built without any external scaffolding , but entirely overhand using 6" deep wooden moulds filled with concrete and removing the lower of three as the concrete set. In this he was obviously successful for here it remains to this day, sharing the skyline with the trees of the New Forest. Lastly, why was Peterson called eccentric . Well he did claim that the tower was designed for him by Sir Christopher Wren who had been a long time dead at the time, and there was the other reason he claimed, for building it, which was to give employment to the unemployed local farm workers (it was the time of the Great Agricultural Depression ). So we suppose any of that was enough.

18-05-2013. Following on from my last notes about our home towns very small part in the history of railways , I also mentioned the fact that because we are situated on the River Avon, we also have a foot-note in the history of canals. Stay with me for another minute or two and all will be revealed. The so-called Hampshire River Avon actually rises in Wiltshire, flowing for 60 miles or so through Hampshire to join the sea at Christchurch, with the last 36 miles of its journey taking it through Salisbury and Ringwood and on to Christchurch. In 1664 an act was passed in parliament for making this stretch of the river navigable, with the intention of giving the merchants of the area of Salisbury access to the port of Southampton, although for various reasons the navigation did not open until 1684. It is claimed that James Brindley, the most famous canal engineer of his day was commissioned to survey the route, and he suggested cutting a canal roughly parallel with the river, However, instead what happened was the river was just straightened by making ten navigation cuts in its length. The end result of all this did mean the river and canal became navigable with up to 25 ton barges, it is said, using it. However for whatever reasons it all closed down in 1710 after 50 years in use, So in reality despite the help of James Brindley we never really became Ringwood -on -Sea. Finally in 1907 a High Court ruling was obtained by the local land owners, making the ancient public rights to sail boats on the river illegal, and so now the river is known only for its excellent trout fishing. The now defunct canal is mentioned in "Priestly's Navigable Rivers and Canals" published in 1831, of which we have a reprint copy No. 00002861. on our data-base. But just a minute, for that may not be the end of the story. Recent researchers believe they have the evidence to prove that the right of public navigation on the river is still legally in force and I understand a group has been set up and is actively raising funds for a High Court action against the local landowners. As they say, watch this space. Look at our many books on Canals and inland waterways which we have only recently put on to our databases.

01-May-2013. As I mentioned in my previous notes, our home town of Ringwood, situated as it is on the edge of the New Forest with the County of Dorset just down the road, may not be thought to be of much interest to the industrial archaeologist or railway historian, but you would be wrong, and if you would care to stay with me a minute dear reader I will try to explain. In 1847 the Southampton and Dorchester Railway Line was opened with Ringwood a station on the route, A single-line track it ran for some 60 miles with 23 miles of it running through the New Forest from Brockenhurst to Ringwood. Then in 1862 Ringwood became a railway junction with the opening of a line to Christchurch on the coast, which was short lived, closing as it did in 1935. The New Forest retains its connection to the main London line at Brockenhurst but the line that used to wind its way through it to Ringwood, known affectionately as "Castleman's Corkscrew" after the man who devised it and the circuitous route it took, is now no more, although one of its stations remains as a tearoom which has a nice display of old photographs of the line in its working days. (See Caslteman's Corkscrew Volume One & Volume Two of the exceptional Oakwood Press series). The line originally carried on through Ringwood, but again the part of it as far as Broadstone is now a pleasant walking and cycle path, which crosses a path near the main road via 'Lady Wimborne bridge' which has a plaque stating that this is the most decorated railway bridge in the country. Ironically it is said that with the coming of the railway, Ringwood lost its chance of becoming Ringwood-on-Sea as a port on a projected Southampton to Salisbury canal. But that is another story that I hope will interest some of the visitors to our area this summer with an interest in industrial history. Today, of course Ringwood's only connection with railways and canals is that it is the home of Dereks Transport Books with our 10,000 or so so books on these subjects on our data-base. As we like to say, whatever the subject, it's always worth giving us a browse.

25-04-2013. Fifty years ago, Beeching published his controversial report on the future of the railways in Britain. Around about twenty-five years ago, Joseph Stevens, an author local to our own home town of Ringwood, wrote the following lines which he published in a selection of his verse titled `Conservation - The Quality of LIfe'

Our legislators, councillors and planners,

Must heed these problem while some time remains,

For folk with vision have their spades and spanners

For tackling choked canals and rusting trains.

How many miles of useful railway tracks

Fell foul of Beeching's ruthless cutting axe?

So much of what he ripped away was fine,

But failed to meet his profit bottom line.

Enthusiasts are putting back again

Some lines, some stations and the train.

Providing for the young that have not seen

Reviving for the old the Age of Steam.

Now, twenty-five years later, with the re-opening of so many of our previously abandoned and disused railway lines and canals, mostly because of men of vision using their spades and spanners, I think we can say that our poet did not write his lines in vain. This year, for instance, only just down the road from us so to speak in Dorset, they are celebrating the re-connection of the Swanage Railway to the main rail network at Wareham. This line was not only axed as a result of Beeching, but had the whole of its track removed as well. Although, perhaps Ringwood is not the first name that you would think of to be connected with in terms of railway or canals, but even here we have our own little foot-note in their history, As this might be of interest to some of you, especially perhaps those who might be visiting our area, I hope to come back to explain it all later. But for now, just a reminder that here at Dereks Transport Books we have many books on canal and railway history, as well as other related subjects on our data-base. As we like to say, Its always worth giving us a browse.

08-April-2013. April is with us already, so make sure you make room for this annual event at the London Bus Museum, Weybridge, Surrey. The 40th Spring Bus & Coach Gathering – 21 April 2013. This will be one of the biggest yet, with many trade stands and as its the 80th anniversary of London Transport (1933-2013). there will be some 200 visiting buses and coaches to help celebrations along. So, if you need any books on buses, coaches, or London Transport in general, please give us a browse. (I wonder if the 'Boris Master' will be there?). Although as booksellers we are known to specialise in books on transport and industrial archaeology subjects, we sometimes get offered books on a subject that we just can't refuse. This was the case when recently we were offered and bought a clients collection of Second World War books all concerning what came to be known as the Battle of Arnhem or Operation Market Garden to give it it's official title. It was General Montgomery who proposed using the First Allied Airborne Army to seize the bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem in Holland to cut off the German retreat, This was agreed and the operation commenced on 17th September 1944, History has now declared the whole operation a ghastly failure, but the history of the battle and the courage of the men involved in the fighting itself, and of many of the local Dutch population who were under German occupation at that time of course, has made it into one of the classic battles of the war. Nor was a solely British operation either, but involved the forces of all the Allies. Now ,with the numbers of the survivors getting less and less with each year that passes, these books are becoming more and more important, and especially so to many of the younger generation who perhaps had some member of the family or friend who was involved. We have some 40 titles on our data-base, for this particular action alone. Just put in Arnhem as a key word, or look under Military for the rest of our many titles on other wartime engagements involving all of the Armed Services, and of many from other countries as well. As we like to say. Whether it is Military or Transport books it is always worth giving us a browse.

28-March-2013. Rail campaigners mark the Beeching Report's 50th anniversary.(Click for clever photo from msn.news) Yes, 50 years ago (Yesterday), the now infamous Beeching Report was produced and let loose into the World. Interestingly, Fine condition copies are quite hard to find, and can fetch as much a £100 for the 2 sections. Anyhow, my last notes where directed at those people planning a holiday abroad. This time I am talking to those who are planning a holiday at home as we call it, particularly those planning a holiday on one of our restored canals which are now becoming a tourist attraction in there own right. It was James Brindley 1716 - 1772 the famous canal and waterway engineer who is credited with saying " Water is like a giant - safe only when laid on its back" and after seeing the damage that was caused this last winter as a result of heavy rain and flooding, we can see what he meant. When navigating the Oxford canal some years ago, we were in the unusual situation of the canal actually running out of water, that must have been when summers were proper summers!. Anyway, all this is leading up to tell you that we have recently purchased the library of books on canals, and who better to buy books on canals from than a man who was himself the author of many books on canals including some published by David & Charles.

21-March-2013. I can honestly say that I have had many memorable train journeys on main lines and preserved lines in my time, both in this country and also abroad, With this in mind and with summer only just around the corner ( well it is, isn't it?) it occurs to me that there must be many people out there thinking of booking a train journey as part of their holiday abroad. For these we would like to refer you to our databases which now includes titles on some of the famous Swiss mountain railways as well as Irish, French, German and some of the lines in the U.S.A. among many others. Plan your holiday now!. For those of you looking to buy for a friend or member of the family perhaps, we should also like to point out that in our view, if you read our description of the particular book offered for sale being described as F ( Fine) , Near MINT or MINT ( As New) these would be perfectly acceptable to be received as a gift by anyone. As we like to say, whatever subject you are interested in It is always giving us a browse. On a Happy Note! Bluebell Railway - the connection to East Grinstead is made - 8 March 2013. After a lot of work, the connection is finally made. See front page video for more. Also, Well done Swanage Railway, another connection made here as well.

25-Feb-2013. Checking over a book bought in for resale the other day, I came across an undated cutting from an edition of "The Daily Telegraph's" obituary column, that had been left in by a previous owner, giving an account of the life of Charles Hadfield which has reawakened my interest in the man who became the world's leading historian of inland waterways. An interest apparently sparked off by explorations of the Grand Union Canal in Devon as a young man. He wrote his first book on the subject `Introducing Canals' in 1950. Then `British Canals, an Illustrated History' which was later expanded to become a classic series of regional histories `Canals of the British Isles'. Earlier, in 1946 together with L.T.C.Rolt, ( what a combination of talents that must have been), founded the "Inland Waterways Association". But not only did he write books on the subject, in 1960 together with his friend David St John Thomas he founded the publishers David & Charles, which they based appropriately enough, for a firm that was going to specialise in publishing books on railways and canals, in the old railway station of the town of Newton Abbot, Devon, and then took over an old locomotive shed to use as a warehouse. Still in business today, it is perhaps a sign of the times that in 2000 they became a part of a much larger U.S. based group F+W publications. Don't forget we have a good selection of books by both Hadfield and Rolt included among the almost 400 titles or so on our data-base published by David & Charles, among the many books on both canals and railways on our data-base. As we like to say, It is always worth giving us a browse.

06-Feb-2013. Looking back at transport history is fascinating, for instance, it is interesting to note that during the early 1900s in Britain, there was a time when the railway companies were getting concerned about competition from the electric tramways which were sprouting up in the cities and towns, and in fact many tramway companies were covering rural areas in order to join larger towns and cities together to gain more customers, and so in total controlled a substantial network of lines. Alas, this was short lived in terms of transport development, but does show how the humble tram was such a useful and affordable mode of transport for the masses. So, its good to see that among the many books we have recently purchased, there are many on tramways, old, and new, though they are now called Rapid Transit Systems. Also, showing the changing times was the following piece, taken from the book `The Railway Policeman' by J.R. Whitbread which caught my eye the other day, and I think is worth repeating here, especially as it occurred to me as I read it that there is probably a whole new generation out there, for whom it has little meaning, as you need to be of a certain age and background to make sense of it, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. Anyway here goes:- Dated 1958, this is the reply from a man who has received a letter from the Railway Inspectorate after being reported for not paying his fare, The letter the man received finishes "--- I shall be glad if you will let me know where and when I can interview you on this matter.. You may call at this office --- or at any time at your convenience." This is an abridged version of the reply, but covers the essential points I suggest. "Dear Inspector. I will meet you if you want me to, as you said, but I would prefer you to come to my convenience as you suggested. It is a funny place to meet me, but I suppose you know your own business best.------- I should tell you my convenience is an outdoor one and is shared by three other families. You will find it easily if you go straight through the side gate and down the yard. P.S. I nearly forgot to tell you. Our convenience has got no light, so if you come after dark you will have to bring your police light with you" Apparently these are authentic letters as reproduced in the `B.R. Transport Police Journal'. I wonder how many of you can still remember those days before an internal W.C and bathroom became the norm in every house. Still a few I hope, and as for books about railways old or new, and even houses come to that, we have literally many hundreds on our databases, As we like to say, its always worth giving us a browse.

30-Jan-2013. Just to say what a great BBC series on the now fully opened Welsh Highland Railway. To think that I walked that very trackbed a mere 10 years ago, following one of the excellent 'James Boyd' books Narrow Gauge Railways in North Caernarvonshire - Volume 1 - The West. {No, you can't buy this one from me, as I sold it to myself many years ago!}. I suppose you could say that Industrial history as a separate subject, began when man started fashioning tools from pieces of flint. However the subject of industrial archaeology as a separate field of study only really began in the 1950's, being defined by Brian Bracegirdle in his book on the subject as "The field study of technological change". My favorite quote is:- "Industrial archaeology --- believes that a thing that doesn't work any more is far more interesting than a thing that still works.", by Miles Kingston in his book "Nature Made Ridiculously Simple". There may be an element of truth in that of course, but whatever definition we prefer, I agree myself with a James Sims who wrote in `The Mining Almanac for 1849' "Amongst all the heroes and all the statesmen that have ever yet existed, none have ever accomplished any thing of such vast importance to the world in general as have been realized by a few simple mechanics", and I suggest that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to those first post-war writers on the subject , which include the likes of Neil Cossons, Kenneth Hudson , Anthony Burton , as well as L. C. Rolt and Charles Hadfield of course. All this is really to remind you to that we have many of these authors books featured on our data-bases under the two categories Industrial History and Industrial Archaeology, and that this subject is also covered by quite a few of the books listed under Architecture as well.

18-Jan-2013. I am sure that there must have many of you who have watched and enjoyed, as I have, the series of recent BBC television programmes where Michael Portillo sets out on journeys by train in this country and Europe with the aid of an old edition of Bradshaw's Railway Guide. The programmes also, judging by the sudden spate of enquries we are receiving at least, seems to have reawakened an interest in the history of the Bradshaw Guide itself. As a publication, and as a bookseller of course, this really awakens my interest, particularly as there seems to be a lot of confusion about the various editions, and of course about which is the original Bradshaw. I hope the following notes will help clear this up for those interested in the subject or have copies themselves.

My reference is an article I read in an old copy of the Daily Telegraph Published on 5th May 1961 ` by E.S. Lomax titled `Terminus for Bradshaw' and written to mark the occasion of the appearance of the last Bradshaw Railway Guide' after 120 years of continuous publication, and of course my indispensable Ottley's Bibliography of British Railway History. Beginning at the beginning, which I find is always the best place to start, The first Guide he published was titled `Bradshaw's Railway Timetable' and published on October 19th 1839, by Henry Blacklock & Sons, the firm he himself founded, This covered 6 railways in Yorkshire and Lancashire. A tiny book in size of only 28 pages with green cloth boards, measuring only 41/2" x 3" and was un-numbered.. The second was published on October 25th 1839 covering 10 railways in the Midlands and South of England, and numbered Number 2. There were further volumes published up until March 1840, when it became a combined volume covering all the railways of Britain,and with the title changed to `Bradshaw's Railway Companion' and this was numbered as Number 3. However it was the issue first published in December 1841 titled `Bradshaw's Railway Guide' which really became the first issue intended for regular publication and up-dating. For the book collector and enthusiast of course these early editions are much sought after. The problems arise I believe when the originals are sometimes understandably confused with the many facsimile reprints which have been published of the 1839 issues, the first of which were published as early as 1889 and 1890 .

However, apparently the only copy left of the original Bradshaw is now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. No, I am afraid we can't offer another copy of that one for sale at the moment, but there are literally hundreds of other railway books, guides and timetables on our data-bases, and more being added all the time, As we like to say , its always worth giving us a browse. Now just to finish, did you know that Bradshaw actually did not publish the first railway timetable, and that that distinction belongs to two other people. First according to The Telegraph article was James Drake who for a few months of 1838 published a timetable listing the rail and coach services between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, and a Mr Bridgen, who published a similar timetable for Wolverhampton in early 1839. This is confirmed by Ottley who has an entry for James Drake who published `Drakes Road Book of the Grand Junction Railway from Birmingham to Liverpool and Manchester' in 1837, with a 2nd edition dated 1838 which included engravings of scenes on the line, a map and fares, distances and regulations. But Ottley does not include any reference of a Bigden, so for me his Wolverhampton timetable must remain unconfirmed. However I am sure there is a Wolverhampton railway buff who knows diffrerent......

Bradhaw's Tourist Handbook seems to be the order of the day, Sorry, we don't have any copies now, but if you would like one for your iPAD or PC, then CLICK HERE. (I hope this dosn't catch on!)

06-Jan-2013. It surely is a truism to say that the history of modern transport can be said to have begun with the invention of the steam locomotive. There were also steam driven ships, cars and haulage vehicles of course and it was even tried to power aircraft. This last may come as a surprise to our railway and transport buffs, but not of course for those interested in aviation and its history. The facts are well recorded by David Wragg for one, in his book `Flight before Flying' ( No. 15192 on our data-base). To begin with, it was soon after the successful use of the locomotive engine on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, that a Mr F. D. Artingstall for one, constructed a very light steam-engine which he suspended by a cord from the ceiling, and to the piston-rod attached wings that could open and shut rather like a venetian blind, which imitated the motions of a bird in flight, This method was known as Ornithoptering and the craft as an Ornithopter. However, this experiment unfortunately only resulted in a burst boiler. Then came an exhibit by a Mr I. Palmer at the Exhibition of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain in 1868, of a steam powered pair of wings that expanded in ascent and closed in descent. Also at the same exhibition a Mr I. Kaufmann, an engineer from Glasgow exhibited a working model which was intended as the precursor of an aerial steam engine weighing 7,000lbs, with a steam pressure of 150lbs to the inch. Sadly perhaps, it soon became obvious that with the weight of the engine plus the fuel and water, steam power could never match the motive power of birds in flight. It was, according to David Wragg in his book, a Willam Samuel Henderson who built the first powered heavier-than-air flying machine to adopt a `modern' configuration, and that was designed as a monoplane with airscrews and cambered wings in 1842. These early experimenters, although marked down as failures at the time, deserve their recognition as they all played their part in the fascinating history of aviation. This is of course just a lead in to remind you we have around 1,500 different titles on aviation on our data-bases, both military and commercial, to interest the historian and modeller as well as the general enthusiast. As we like to say, its always worth giving us a browse.

02-Jan-2013. As a bookseller, of course not every book I buy and check over, is found to be fit to resale. This particular one I am talking about was an old and rather well used and scribbled in American recipe book. I remember offering this one to my wife at the time, and although I admit that I thought her 'thank you' seemed a little strained, I always say it's the thought that counts.... Actually, the scribbles in the book turned out to be two unaccredited quotations written in pencil by a previous owner of the book. Reading them again over the festive break, they seem apt to share with you, particularly with those ladies, bless them, with a family to cater for in these rather difficult times, and who may be reading these notes. Judge for yourself. The first quotation reads:

"To love and honour are okay, and one might promise to obey: But what makes wives turn slowly grey, is what to cook each blessed day."

The second was written later in the book by the same person who by then had obviously recovered their natural good spirits:

"Thank God for dirty dishes, They have a tale to tell, While others go hungry, We're eating rather well , With home and health and happiness, I shouldn't want to fuss, For by this stack of evidence, God's very good to us."

Now we may only have around 20 recipe and cookery books on our database but we have books on many other subjects beside the titles on transport and aviation that we specialise in. Also with ladies in mind, we do know that many of you will have a boyfriend or partner with an enthusiasm for railways or old cars perhaps or even buses and aeroplanes, whether full size or just modelling, and we hope that you share that enthusiasm, or better still are enthusiasts yourselves, and why not. So for you, please dont forget that if you are looking for a book to give as a present perhaps, or even for yourself , we have somewhere around 10,000 different titles on our data-bases so its always worth giving us a browse. If you have any difficulty in finding a particular title or would like a bit more information about it we will always be pleased to reply to your e-mail or phone call if not straight away then ASAP. Best wishes to you all for this coming year.

20-Dec-2012. Now, with the 'festive' break fast approaching, it is time for all of us here at Dereks Transport Books to have a rest and wish all of you, existing and hopefully future customers alike a Happy New Year, and that includes of course all those of you we have had the pleasure of meeting directly either as buyer or seller and the many we have spoken with over the phone and individual e- mail. It really has been a pleasure. As I enjoy a good quote, I would like to finish with one for all those who will be travelling over the holiday period, found most aptly in an old book on railways:-

"To a friends house the journey is never long".

Happy New Year to you all. Now for those of you who will not be travelling anywhere, and as it is the time of year to be sat indoors warming by the fire with a good book on your lap, rather than be wandering round preserved railway lines. How about us giving you a quiz. We all know that if there was a vote to decide which was Britain's most popular and most written about railway it would surely be the G.W.R.( `Gods Wonderful Railway' ) of course [Although I am more of a Southern man myself]. Well here are a few, rather difficult questions to really see how much you know about its history and operation.

1) "What was the first section of broad gauge to be converted to 4ft 8 1/2 in: gauge in 1869?"

2) " What was the only GW named engine to be destroyed as a result of enemy action in WW2"

3) " Two Brunel timber viaducts on a mineral branch survived WW2. Where? "

4) " Which important section of former GWR main line is today run by an independent company with steam trains."

Too easy for you GWR enthusiasts I dare say, and just to be difficult, I could say that for the answers you will have to buy the book "GWR Quiz" compiled by Anthony Lambert and Geoffrey Kitchenside, a fascinating book that is full of questions on the history, locomotives and running of the railway company. No.15141 on our database (Only £4.00). However, as it is supposed to be the season of goodwill and all that, here are the answers. 1)" 22 1/2 miles between Grange Court and Hereford." 2) " Hall 4-6-0 No. 4911 hit at Keyham near Plymouth" 3) " Gamlyn and Dare viaducts ( demolished 1947) on the Gelli Tarw - Dare Junction branch closed in September 1939" 4) " Paignton - Kingswear, Dart Valley Railway." Dont forget of course that we have some 150 or so different titles on the GWR and associated companies, on our data-base, and we are always adding new ones to it. Its always worth giving us a browse. Have a good break and Happy New Year to you all.

17-Dec-2012. Book selling, once referred to by some as " the last trade fit for a gentleman" and by others, perhaps more accurately, in my case at least as "a trade for those who are not any good at anything else". It is now referred to as a dying trade with no future as the book itself has no future in the world of the 'kindle' and the e-book. However, for a friend of mine the end of the book was really confirmed, when he was told that 'Ikea', the furniture store for all thats new and trendy, had stopped selling bookcases. It seems that the book, which after all comes in so many different sizes and colours, now does not fit in with our designer driven modern furniture schemes any longer. If this is true he reckons, it must be the final nail in the coffin for the book. Then again, as he is the same person who calls my 'OO gauge' model railway layout a train set, and the enthusiasts who run the heritage steam railways as men who could not give up their train sets, he can get things wrong. It was with just a small sigh of relief that on looking into "Ikea's" latest catalogue I found a set of bookshelves for sale and illustrated filled with books of all sizes and colours. And now talking about books of all sizes and colours, we have been busy putting a lot of railway and aviation books on our data-base recently purchased from an enthusiasts private library. Finally, just a few pictures to make you smile:- , & .

11-Dec-2012. As a seller of books on transport subjects,and a lover of poetry I have always been pleasantly suprised on how the subject has also had a fascination for so many writers of literature and poetry. On railways, of course, John Betjaman is perhaps the first name we think of, but how about these lines written by a near contemporary, the American poet Edna St. Vincent Millary ( 1892 -1950 );

`My heart is warm with the friends I make,

And better friends I'll not be knowing,

Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,

no matter where it's going'.

Somehow I feel they could have been written today, to sum up the feelings of all of us who love railways, working on a preserved line, modelling a railway layout or yes, even just buying and selling books on the subject. Now, as we are on the subject we must let you know that we are constantly adding new railway related titles to our data-base. I am quite sure many of you reading these lines are GRICERS. Perhaps even a HAULAGE BASHER, although you may just be an INSECT looking out for HUMPTIES, IRON WHEELS , or even a JUICE WAGON .What on earth am I referring to I hear you say. Well I will explain, all are slang terms used by railwaymen: GRICERS are the most fanatical and extreme type of railway enthusiast whose ambition it is to travel over all existing railway lines, seeing all existing locos. An INSECT however is just a seasonal or occasional enthusiast. Both types could be looking out for a HUMPTIE . A GWR 0-6-0-ST, or an IRON WHEELS, Austerity 2-8-0, or even a JUICE WAGON, an electric loco. I will admit I never knew any of this until reading my copy of `The Railway Dictionary' compiled by Alan Jackson which has over 6,000 entries would you believe, and on our data base No.11596. And of course along with hundreds more second -hand books on railways on our data-bases It's always worth giving us a browse.

 

27-Nov-2012. It was said once that "Only Birds and Fools Fly, and Birds Don't Fly at Night!" An un-attributed quote from the book 'The Wit in the Air' , our stock number 15060. Obviously from someone who had a bad experience of flying. To see a truly remarkable account of outstanding WWII bravery in the air, please CLICK HERE to read a tale of Survival of the B-17 "All American" (414th Squadron, 97BG) Air Crew, Outstanding!. New books on Aviation and modelling being added as and when we can, keep a look out.

23-Nov-2012. With that most demanding of holidays almost upon us, we would like to say, even in this age of instant electronic communication, video conferencing, and all the information contained on [in] the internet, what a refreshing and calming effect a good book has on a loved one, {No, not by hitting them on the head with it!}. All our books when described as Fine, Near Mint or Mint (As new), would make ideal presents for anyone, so why not have a good look. Any defects that may be present with a book are described in detail, just in case you are looking for a more obscure, rare or just very old title. Also, why not have a look into the Inter-City Railway Society? A great organisation that keeps you informed of happenings on the current railway scene, including Liveries, Infrastructure News, Traffic & Traction News, Preservation Galas, Trips out and a section on Stock Changes. Also, for only £16.00 a year, you get access to a most informative website, and a monthly colour magazine. In my view, one of the best £16.00's I've ever spent. To Join or look at the ICRS website, CLICK HERE - Click on the Pic to enlarge. , . Don't forget your last posting dates, especially overseas. Visit Royal Mail's website for information.

17-Nov-2012. Well, who would have thought 150 years ago, that the London Underground would be as busy and as extensive as ever. On 9 January 2013, London Underground will celebrate 150 years since the first underground journey took place between Paddington and Farringdon on the Metropolitan Railway. Please visit 'London Transport Museum' for details. Browse our London Transport collection to see related books. Also, I understand that Royal Mail will be releasing a set of stamps to mark the occasion. DVDs. Yes, finally after watching 34 hours of DVD footage, I am pleased to say that our DVD selection now includes many of the popular Locomaster Profiles - Traction Series. Excellent for keeping in touch with modern and quite often not so modern traction on our railway system. In fact, just keeping up with the liveries is enough to make a grown railway modeller cry in his beer!. The new London Bus has been nicknamed the 'Boris Master'. I know its official because Corgi have released a model of it.

04-Nov-2012. A note to say WELL DONE to the "Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway" They have managed to come back from the brink. The cost of rebuilding the embankments set the railway back £1 million which has been fully paid for by the remarkable generosity of local people, volunteers and supporters organising fund raising events and especially the heritage railway movement which has lent incredible support to one of its ailing members. On the books front, we have added two more sections to our database, which we hope to improve and enlarge upon over the next few months. One section for Model Buses, and another for Timetables. Have a look.

20-Oct-2012. This month, we are starting with a question for all our aviation buffs. When were the following lines written and by whom?:-

The time will come when thou shalt lift thine eyes,

To watch a long-drawn battle in the skies,

While aged peasants,

to amazed for words,

Stare at the flying fleets of wond'rous birds,

England, so long mistress of the sea,

Where wind and waves confess her sovereignty,

Her ancient triumphs yet on high shall bear,

And reign, the sovereign of the air.

Was it someone with a poetic bent at the outbreak of the Second World War predicting the Battle of Britain?, No. These lines were obviously written at an earlier time. In fact this is an excerpt from Gray's "Lina Habitabilis" written in 1731, even before the first successful flight in a balloon, which was in 1783. Yet there is a tenuos connection as the book that contains this lovely quotation is "Britain in the Air" one of the titles in the 'Britain in Pictures' series, The first title in the series was published in 1941 at the beginnings of the 'Battle for Britain' , while `Britain in the Air' was published in 1944 when that battle had been won. The book was on our data-base [now SOLD], together with a photograph of the front cover and description, as is usual with most of our books. Still on the subject of aviation, we believe our list is getting better all the time and that we can now offer a wide range of titles on every aspect of this subject, including military aviation, company and individual aircraft type histories, as well as modelling and titles from the early days of flying. And as we are constantly putting on new titles on our data-base, it is, as we like to say, always worth giving us a browse.

29-Sept-2012. With the days getting rapidly shorter, I have been encouraged to remove the debris from on top of & under my sorry looking 00-gauge railway layout. Its taken me many years to realise that the railway should fit into the landscape, not the landscape around the railway. Having had a preoccupation with laying as much track as is possible in the given base board area, it has taken a long time to trim down, almost Beeching style, until I have been left with the basic station layout with small goods yard, and to examine the many possible operating scenarios this has presented. Simple is good, better running, more reliability, more realistic operation, time to actually do some modelling/ballesting/lighting....well, the list is almost endless. Anyhow.. Back to books, and DVD's for that matter. Many more books on modelling to put on, not just railways but all forms of the hobby, also some great DVD's, but these will take a little longer to put on, as I have to make sure they are not damaged etc, ....which involves watching them... so it could take a while. ....

13-Sept-2012. Some excellent new stock in recently, under the 'Motive Power' heading, we have put on some of the 'Locomotives of the L.N.E.R' Series edited by 'E.V Fry'. Both on the ABE/Biblio database, and our local database. Also, after quite a while trying to hunt some down, more volumes of the 'British Locomotive Catalogue 1825 - 1923' series. These have proved to be very popular with modellers and historians, and I am sure will be sold very quickly.

02-Sept-2012. The day of the 15th September is celebrated as Battle of Britain day as it is considered by historians to be the turning point in the conflict. We are now getting around to putting on our database many nearly new condition books on the Battle of Britain, Bomber Command, Dam Busters and many auto/biographies of the people who served in the War Effort. Also, we have some new railway books arriving in the next few days. For airshow events happening around the UK, please visit the excellent Deltaweb Airshow Guide website by clicking here .

It is good to see that one of our 'local' steam railways is doing well, the Swanage Railway is now nearing its reconnection with the main line. CLICK HERE for details.

Many interesting books on aviation added today, also some unusual books on motoring as well as Tramway systems mainly in the UK. A friend of ours recently emailed a couple of pictures showing the Beijing to Shanghai high-speed railway, this being of Beijing station from the air (Click to enlarge). and .

We have recently had a hard time trying to transfer our main website www.secondhand-books.co.uk from one host to another, as a result, the site was down for a few days. We are now pleased to report that normal services have been resumed. The good news is that we now have more space for better pictures and soon will upgrade our shopping basket with more accurate postage/shipping costs.

Great photograph, speaks for itself:- (Click to enlarge).

 

Many new books on trams are being added to our various databases, please ensure you use both the Green and Blue buttons to see our full stock of books on each subject listed. Having been told that many of the original trams are now being removed from regular service on the Blackpool system (See video bottom of page), we thought it might be good to list some recently acquired titles on this famous system, along with many titles on the British, Irish and Scottish tramways. It does seem to be that of all the means of 'people transport' as we may call it, that we are familiar with, we are at our most nostalgic when we talk about the good old electric tramcar. Not so surprising when for my fathers generation for instance, born in the 1930's, apart from the pram and pushchair, it was the first moving vehicle they remember travelling in. For my father it was memories of the slatted wooden seats and rounded tops of the trams of Southampton, but every town had their own systems and, what makes it even more interesting, their own individual designs. Most of these of course were preceded by the horse-drawn tram, and their histories make even more fascinating reading for any one interested in the subject which must surely include most of you reading these notes. For instance, many interesting facts on tramways can be had from the book "Trams on the Road". The Pontypridd & Rhondda Valley Tramway, which in 1902 suffered the loss of most of its horse motive power due to a disease called 'Glanders', prompted its conversion to electric traction. Also, many horses were seized by the military for service in France in the Great War. Another drawback of horse traction that was to hinder tramways electric or otherwise from then on, was legislation that required companies to 'keep in a good state of repair' the road surface between, and 18 inches either side of the tram tracks. This was intended for the damage that was expected to be made by the horses hooves, the legislation being passed on even when horses were no longer employed. (Also see 'The Light Railway Act' of 1896). However this is just one book in a collection of over 340 books on trams and trolleybuses that we have in stock, most recent from an enthusiast on a recent trip to the Cotswolds. These include many on the history of trams in individual towns and cities from the Middleton Press, Capital Transport, Oakwood Press and Light Railway Transit Association among others. Most are in excellent condition, some even as new. We are busy putting them onto our website right now, and as usual we provide a photograph and good description on each as well.

With the wet weather messing up yet another 'British' summer, we have decided to add some Modelling Books, as there seems little else to do in the bad weather. Mainly aviation, but also railway interest, some more specialist items on the 'Flying Boats' also included. Have a look.

With the first days of June being marked by the celebrating of the Queens Diamond Jubilee, it seems appropriate that our latest book buying trip took us to Windsor. Even the inevitable traffic hold-up was enlivened by being able to watched a part of the fly-past for the build up to celebrations from the car window, and that was apt as the collection of books we were buying included, as well as railways, many very interesting aviation titles, including some on American aircraft, some on the beginnings of the RAF during the First World War, and some rather well illustrated books ideal for the modeller or enthusiast. Ever since, when on a trip to America we happened to spot a wonderful old steam locomotive laying on its side seemingly abandoned in a field as we flashed by in our tourist coach, we have always had a special affection for and an interest in the history of the American railroads. So again it seemed appropriate that our purchase included quite a few titles on the subject which we are putting onto our data-base as quickly as we can. A bonus is that the great majority of these books are in excellent condition, but in any case we always give a good description and a photograph of each particular book.

We suppose that at one time, for the sportsman at least the start of the cricket season was regarded as the beginning of our summer. Nowadays though with all sport becoming more international many of us have come to look upon the first Formulae One race to mean the start of our summer what ever the weather has in store for us. How appropriate then for us to have purchased a quantity of books on motor sport including rallying and hill climbing as well as Grand Prix which we are now busy processing and putting on our data base. One of the pleasures of buying this collection is that it has been put together over many years by an enthusiast of the sport and includes many of the older publications that give details of the sport in its early days between the wars as well as some of the modern Grand Prix annual year books. While on the subject of putting the books onto our data-base, it takes us a little longer than most probably, as we also include a photograph, or scan which is the word they seem to use today. We think this is worth it particularly where the dust jacket is concerned as it is a truism that a picture is worth more than a thousand words, particularly when selling over the internet. Also it is worth mentioning that we will do further scans of any particular part of a book on request.

The theft of metal is now sadly a common event in the UK, from cables on the railways, to lead on churches, but a gang of thieves in Slavkov, Czech Republic, went one better. The report comes from "The Week" paper of 5 May 2012, and recounts a multi-million pound heist. It quotes "Using forged paperwork, [a] gang convinced local railway officials they had been sent to dismantle a 10 Ton bridge, and remove 650ft of track....." You can guess the rest, but buy the paper for more.

Postage prices are going to increase on 30th April 2012, please be aware that Royal Mail have increased the cost of shipping by a considerable amount to some countries, mainly World Zone 2, Australia. For a full run down see WWW.RoyalMail.com We have now completed a review of our postage prices and have updated most of the site. WE ALWAYS REFUND EXCESS POSTAGE ON MULTIPLE ITEMS.

There is a great little booklet, called 'The Railway Language'. Full of those small details you never knew you never knew!. The term 'Permanent Way' for instance, was used to determine the finished trackwork from the temporary contractors' lines...One can only wonder why that was needed? Also, freight trains from Huntley & Palmer's where known as 'The Biscuits'. 'Bobol' is a Bogie Bolster Wagon, A 'Crow' was a type of locomotive whistle signal, a 'Grampus' is a civil engineers 20 ton dropside wagon, 'Humpties Dumpties' where 1902-4 rebuilds of Holden's GER T19 2-4-0 Locos & 'Sprag' is the wood used to brake or hold a wagon. Only some of the many names listed in the book by Geoffrey Body. A must for any enthusiast/modeller/pub-quiz person. Only £8.00, our item number 14088 ABE.Biblio/UKBookWorld, or just email us.

Trams and Trolleybuses, we have added a number of books/booklets on these fascinating subjects, when reading through the older (1960's) material, the narrative talks of the trams and trolleybus systems still in service, a reminder of how recently some of the systems have been cast out.

Also, see the video on the Ffestiniog Railway, latest news from the Cob widening scheme, this is to allow another platform to serve the Welsh Highland Railway connection recently made, and shows how much interest there has been in the restoration of the line closed in the 1940's. Well worth a visit just for the scenery alone.

We have taken on a new packaging system from Novia, It means that the books are protected against damage and our customer satisfaction is guaranteed. From our point of view, as we take so much care in describing our books, it only make sense for us to ensure they get to our customers in the same condition as advertised. See www.novia.co.uk if you are interested.

To mark a very special celebration, we have put on-line some of our collection of Trolleybus books and booklets. The occasion?- Trolleybus 50 Open Day at Fulwell Garage, Twickenham TW1 5NX Saturday 12th May 2012. Special events to mark the 50th Anniversary of the end of London's Trolleybuses. Display of preserved London Trolleybuses and other classic London buses, transport collectors fair and more. Free entry. http://www.trolleybus50.co.uk/

We are still attempting to catch up with all the photographs that are needed to cover our books for sale. If you are interested in a book, but there is no picture as yet, please ask and we will be pleased to send you some pictures.

We are now getting around to putting on line a large collection of motoring books bought a while ago. Many "Osprey AutoHistory" series and some specialist car books as well.

Overcrowded trains seem to be getting worse, have a look at this picture (Click to Enlarge)

We have added some interesting books to our Motive Power section, mainly European Report/Pocket Books, and a few others.

We are getting a lot of "Lost in the mail" reports from Italy, Spain and Mexico. Therefore, until further notice, we are having to pay extra to have these items tracked. This extra cost will unfortunately be passed on to our customers. The genuine book buyers have welcomed this move, but a few seem very put out. Odd that!.

If anyone is into engineering and bridge design, then you must take a look at these pictures of Tower Bridge during construction.

We have added more items to our new section called PSV Booklets, mainly chassis lists of various bus types, Body types, registrations, type of construction etc. If you would like more than one of these, email us for reduced postage.

We have managed to buy some very nice books on Military Vehicles, most of which will end up on the Biblio/ABE database, so keep an eye out for those.

Also added "The Engine Works" to our Model Links, they repair and supply parts for most railway models, including the old ones. I recently sent off a 30 year old Wrenn Castle for repair, and it was returned within a week and runs beautifully, highly recommended!.

I know that railway modellers like a challenge, so here is one I found earlier. (Click to enlarge).

We have put on some American Railroad books, including some of the "Railroad Color History" series, plus some interesting company histories, including 'King Alfred Motor Services - The Story of a Winchester Family Business., 'Gardener' etc.

Books on the Clyde Steamers and shipbuilders of the area added recently . If anyone has a collection of very good condition transport books for sale, please let us know.

We have listed a complete set of 10 'Diesel Enthusiasts Pocket Guides', not just diesels, but electrics as well. I have listed these separately under the Motive Power section, if you are interested in buying the whole set of 10, please email us, I am sure we can offer a bit of discount.

We have also added a few of the popular "Industrial Railway Record" publications to our 'Industrial History' section.

For 2012, we have greatly expanded the number of our books owned by Dereks Transport Books available at the click of a button through this website, by including all of our books listed on the Biblio / ABE databases as well as the ones normally listed here.

This means there is a total of nearly 10,000 titles to choose from at any one time.

It also means that our customers can choose to pay for items by Credit or Debit cards using the Biblio (and ABE) shopping basket.

We are currently in the process of adding images of the actual books for sale as quickly as we can, only 3000 left to scan, don't hold your breath.

Lots of new stock in recently, we are processing these as fast as we can, many new titles on buses, both books and pamphlets/booklets, many interesting London transport/Underground booklets soon to be added, plus aviation and of course many new railway titles.

We are always in need of good quality books on all transport subjects, we will make you a very good offer for the right books and related items.

Also, we have managed to buy in many 00-gauge model buses, some limited edition, we are still trying to work out how best to present these items for sale, so hopefully it won't be long before pictures of these items will be available here.

We will try and post interesting transport related videos as and when we find them. Click Here for some of the recent ones.