The modern counties of Somerset and Avon possess rich railway histories dating back to the 1840s when Bristol was the destination of the original GWR main line from Paddington. In the following years various expansion schemes gave rise to a multitude of main, cross-country, and minor lines, many of which owed their existence to the thriving mining industry. A simultaneous increase in goods and passenger traffic led to what we nowadays refer to as the Golden Age of railways. Fortunately it coincided with the development of the camera and is therefore well recorded.
The passage of time and changing transport needs have caused the network to contract and many popular lines, like the Somerset and Dorset, to close, but photographs survive and provide a unique record of a vanished era. In this fascinating selection by popular railway author, Kevin Robertson, there is much that will appeal not only to the enthusiast but to all those who remember a time before the domination of the motor car, a time when trains wore splendid livery, staff wore smart uniforms, and the day seemed always to be sunny. Glimpses of lines and stations which may have gone and which are sadly missed will provide a source of nostalgic pleasure to all those with any interest in the railways of old Somerset.