WEST MIDLANDS INDUSTRIAL STEAM IN COLOUR
All the photographs in this book were taken in the West Midlands as it was considered to be in the 1960s. This included the present West Midlands region around Birmingham and Coventry, the “Black Country” parts of Staffordshire and Worcestershire and the county of Warwickshire. In the 1960s heavy freight trains were, at least at the beginning of the decade, still hauled by steam engines on the railway main lines. These were the lines, and in most cases the locomotives, which before nationalisation in 1948 had belonged to the competing London Midland and Scottish Railway (formerly the London and North Western Railway and the Midland Railway) and the Great Western Railway. Alongside these transport giants, and usually connecting with them, were many industrial rail systems which, because they were seen as less glamorous than their big cousins, were often overlooked despite being an essential part of the distribution network. If railways have trunk lines and branches, these were the important ‘twigs’ where much of the freight started and finished. In the 1960s many of them were still worked by interesting industrial steam locomotives which serviced the factories of this renowned manufacturing area bringing in the raw materials, starting the finished products on their way or shunting around the site.