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Welcome to Irwell Press

We distribute a wide range of high quality railway books, from those covering the main lines of Britains railway network to highly detailed locomotive histories. We have a growing list of industrial railway books and a popular series of colour books which have recently been expanded to include buses. In addition to our range of railway books we also publish two railway magazines, British Railways Illustrated and Railway Bylines. As well as the latest issue you can also find back issues of these magazines and a comprehensive index. If you cannot find the book or magazine your are looking for then you can check our forthcoming books section, or alternatively give us a call on 01525 861 888 and we will be happy to help.

Fed up wandering the streets trying to find BRILL or BYLINES. Well now you can find them on-line. Simply click the image on the right and be directed to our 'Magazine Retailer Search engine'. Type in the magazine title, your post-code and it will tell you where you can find the mags or indeed where you can order them.

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This months news

This months news

Thank you to all our customers who took time out to come and say hello at the Ally Pally show last weekend. Thank you too for purchasing the three new titles - Southern Moguls Part 2 the U and U1 2-6-0s, SOUTHERN WORKHORSES No.1 Q 0-6-0s and Main Line to the West Volume 3 Yeovil to Exeter. <

Best wishes

George Reeve

Interested in the London and South Western Railway? Join our Twitter feed here and take part in discussion on both the prototype and modelling issues. LONDON SOUTH WESTERN CIRCLE

Last updated 26/03/2019

New Books and Magazines

The Book of the SOUTHERN MOGULS - Part 2

The Book of the SOUTHERN MOGULS - Part 2

29.95

By IAN SIXSMITH, Richard Derry

ISBN 978-1-911262-22-0

As elaborated in the preceding volume in this series The Book of the Southern Moguls 1: N, N1 CLASSES Maunsell, from his appointment in 1913 to the Grouping in 1923 was responsible for the introduction of three new types; the N 2-6-0 with 5ft 6in wheels, the K 2-6-4T with 6ft wheels and the N1 2-6-0, similar to the N but with three cylinders.

We now need to divert into tank engine territory. The SECR ordered one each of the new standard designs, a 2-6-0 which became the N for mixed traffic and a 2-6-4T for passenger work. It was the latter that appeared first, a couple of months before the N mogul (No.810). This was K class No.790, in June 1917. Being a tank version of the N (boilers, cylinders and motion were identical) much of the description of the latter applies in the case of the K, in its shared 'Derby' and Swindon' features for instance.

U and U1 2-6-0s

U 31790-31809

(rebuilt from K 2-6-4Ts)

U 31610-31639

('original' built new as 2-6-0s)

U1 31890

(rebuilt from K1 2-6-4T)

U1 31891-31910

('original' built new as 2-6-4T)


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MAIN LINE to the WEST Part 3 REPRINT Yeovil to Exeter

MAIN LINE to the WEST Part 3 REPRINT Yeovil to Exeter

32.95

Reprinted by popular demand after more than eight years out of print.

John Nicholas and George Reeve

ISBN 978-1-906919-03-0

The Southern Main Line to the West between Basingstoke, Salisbury and Yeovil has previously been described in Parts One and Two, Part Three continues the story on to Exeter. The characteristic feature of this main line is illustrated by station and signal box names - Yeovil Junction, Chard Junction, Axminster (Junction for Lyme Regis), Seaton Junction, Sidmouth Junction and Exmouth Junction. Principal Waterloo expresses often passed towns like Crewkerne, Axminster and Honiton, but then stopped at junction stations in almost uninhabited countryside. This feature of six branch line junctions in less than 50 miles was on the one hand fascinating for railway enthusiasts but on the other hand frustrating for passengers travelling to and from towns and villages away from the main line, particularly after the Beeching closures.


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SOUTHERN WORKHORSES No.1 Q 0-6-0s

SOUTHERN WORKHORSES No.1 Q 0-6-0s

15.95

LESLIE TIBBLE, Richard Derry

ISBN 978-1-911262-24-4

Maunsell arranged for twenty of these dainty 4F 0-6-0s to be built shortly before the Second World War, the first 0-6-0s built by the Southern until the very different Q1s followed a year or two later, under Bulleid. They were the final expression of Maunsell design, owing much in their styling and parts utilised (thus their distinct ‘family appearance’) to his 2-6-0s and 4-4-0s back in the early years of the Southern Railway. Eminently suited for freight, from meandering pick-ups to lengthy coal trains, they led an unexpectedly mixed traffic existence, finding regular use on heavy weekend excursions to the coast and even enjoyed a spell on commuter trains out of London.Follows closely the format of the Southern Big Tanks, with full works/shed histories. To be joined shortly by Southern Workhorses 2 Q1 0-6-0s.
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The Book of the SOUTHERN MOGULS Part One

The Book of the SOUTHERN MOGULS Part One

29.95

OUT NOW!

IAN SIXSMITH, Richard Derry

Briefly at the first rank of Southern locomotive working and for many decades its solid and stalwart mixed traffic backbone, the Southern Moguls were numerous and widespread, from Kent to Cornwall and remained in service almost to the last year of steam on the Southern Region of BR. There were four separate classes, the two cylinder N and U and the three cylinder N1 and U1. The first part covers the N and N1 and employing the usual ‘Book Of’ format, the lengthy works history of each one is fully covered with photographs of every loco in all their complex variations. Part Two, U and U1 Classes, follows soon.

Part One N and N1 Classes

31400-31414

31810-31821, 31823-31875

31822, 31876-31880


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THE DIESELS DELIVER - Goods Trains 1960s - 1990s

THE DIESELS DELIVER - Goods Trains 1960s - 1990s

10.99

OUT NOW and available from selected W H Smith High Street Shops or direct from the publisher

Ian Sixsmith

978-1-911262-23-7

THE DIESELS DELIVERED in the last century and though many traditional traffics had disappeared before the end of steam – fish, livestock, to recall just two – much remained in more or less traditional working patterns. Many diesel classes, it is sobering to reflect, did not last as long as some of the freight workings depicted in these pages! Half a century on, almost all have vanished from our national network. The era of diesels on goods, from fully braked oil trains to clunking and clanging loose-coupled four wheeled coal wagons, to the humblest branch pick-up is a neglected yet rewarding one, as this book sets out to demonstrate. The pictures are courtesy Colour-Rail, who have a message: We hope you enjoy this selection of images from the Colour-Rail collection, those seen here being just the tip of the proverbial iceberg of our collection.  Colour-Rail has been supplying images to both enthusiasts and publishers for books and magazines for 40 years and of course its roots were in the era of steam nostalgia, but like everything else we have to keep up with user’s interests and so the Colour-Rail collection has grown to include as much modern traction as we have steam and there are now over 100,000 of our images on line.  But we want to continue to grow the collection of images both old and new so if you have or know of a collection, even of just digital images, that is looking for a good home please let us know.  Help us save images today for others to enjoy tomorrow.

You can buy the images in this book plus all of the other 100,000 on the website as downloads or prints at www.colour-rail.com.  If you need to contact us about pictures that you would like but can’t find on our website, or you know about a collection that needs rescuing, please send an email to colourrail@aol.com


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The Book of the KING 4-6-0s

The Book of the KING 4-6-0s

30.95

AVAILABLE FOR CHRISTMAS 2018 - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER

ORDER NOW TO SECURE YOUR COPY

By JOHN JENNISON

ISBN 978-1-911262-20-6

The Kings were the final development of the Churchward four-cylinder 4-6-0, stretched to the very limits of the loading gauge. Many people have asked why this, the premier Great Western Railway express passenger class, had not been covered in the ‘Book of’ series when books had been devoted to the humble pannier tanks and the ‘lesser’ 4-6-0 classes. The answer lies partly in the mists of time - in the previous millennium when Irwell Press published Peto’s Register on the Kings in 1995. Although it has stood the test of time quite well, it was thought the material should be dusted down, refurbished and re-invigorated with a generous helping of new pictures to take its rightful place at the head of the GWR ‘Books of’. The Chairman of the Great Western wanted the most powerful express engines in the country, and the successors to the Castle were designed to achieve this. His publicity department, never shy of trumpeting the company to the outside world, took full advantage of its new engines and pressed its claim, both at home and to the world via a trip to the USA. They even produced a book titled The ‘King’ of Railway Locomotives and details taken from several of its chapters have been included as a fascinating contemporary account of the of the building of the engines. As befits their status, the Kings attracted much attention from the enthusiast community from first to last, and many column inches have been devoted to their workings in both contemporary and historical journals and magazines. In particular, the details of pre- and post-war diagrams compiled for the Great Western Railway Journal have been included in the chapter on operations.


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The Book of the CRAB 2-6-0s The LMS Hughes-Fowler 2-6-0s Part Two 42810-42944

The Book of the CRAB 2-6-0s The LMS Hughes-Fowler 2-6-0s Part Two 42810-42944

28.95

By Ian Sixsmith

Approx. 280 pages,hardback

ISBN 978-1-911262-12-1

Latest in the longstanding ‘Book Of’ series, Part 2 The story begins with the Crabs as a new concept at the time of the Grouping; a powerful modern Mixed Traffic loco intended as the precursor of a standard range and how the concept turned to dust in early LMS internal machinations. All the usual works histories and allocations are here for every loco, together with THE DEVIL IN THE DETAIL down to the merest rivet, from liveries and tender varieties, brakes and lubrication, to experimental valve gear and every other facet of these mightily impressive moguls. Part 2


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BRILL MAY 28.8

BRILL MAY 28.8

RAILWAY BYLINES MAY 24.6

RAILWAY BYLINES MAY 24.6

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