Ascot (Branch Lines Around)
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Branch Lines around Ascot
Vic Mitchell and Keith Smith
0 906520 64 9
This book covers the lines around Ascot, the boundaries being Ash Vale, Weybridge, Staines and Wokingham. The book features spectacular pictures of two train collisions as well as an elephant on a train!
Vic Mitchell's books have a common format starting with the geographical setting, historical background and a description of the train services before discussing each line and the stations on it (with many early pictures and maps). There are plenty of timetables, maps, images of tickets, railway company notices etc. The books are reliant on old photographs being available and when a station appears in more than one book, the authors endeavour to put different pictures.
Starting at Ash Vale station, the line goes through Ash Vale and Frimley junctions, before reaching Frimley where there is an interesting picture of troops arriving at a troop train in 1911. Camberley is next up with a photo of a T1 making an unplanned excursion into Park Street. This section of the book ends at Bagshot
The next section starts at Weybridge and goes through Weybridge and Addlestone junctions before arriving at Addlestone and then Chertsey, where there is a disturbing picture of a freight train having run into a 4SUB unit waiting in the platform.
The third section starts at Staines and, amongst the images there is a collision of two steamers, EMUs in the East Yard and a freight train with empty petrol tanks. Egham, Virginia Water, Longcross follow before this section ends at Sunningdale (which is in Berkshire but whose station is in Surrey)
Wokingham to Bracknell is up next with Martins Heron included.
The book ends with a feature on Ascot and its stations. Ascot West had sidings for Bertram Mills Circus and there is a description of how the land was used in WWII. This station also served the racecourse - even though the main station is nearer. An additional Ascot Race platform is featured before Ascot itself if reached where the pictures include the circus vans and an elephant emerging from its van. The vans used to rock in their sidings after arrival, caused by the elephants continuing to sway.
The trains is this book are a mainly EMUs (from various eras) and steam with a few freight.
All of Middleton Press books are in black and white