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Our List of Quality Steam Train Books for Sale
Railway books have always been a way to distribute the very best photos, and share historical information and adventures obtaining photographs. I have been fortunate to travel to many countries in search of steam, and know what it takes to get those all important shots.
Here are a selection of books published by friends of mine. Many of the photos were taken with me standing beside the photographer. They were faster getting them into print than I was! There are only a few copies of these books available and when sold out, they become part of history.
These excellent books cover railway operations in NSW in the 1960s. While most of us were busy taking pictures of passing steam trains, Robert and Bruce Wheatley ventured all around the state capturing images of the operation of the railways and the men who ran them. If you want to get a feel of what it was like to work on the NSW railways back in steam days, these books are an essential part of your collection. Click here to purchase
Where there’s smoke Vol 1
Our newest book covers steam trains in the Western Hemisphere, from Scotland to Capetown, covering many countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Marvel at 100 Mph Pacifics in the UK and Germany, incredible desert scenery in Turkey and the middle East, and the magical lighting and rugged terrain of Africa. The book includes extensive sections on most of Eastern and Western Europe, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. Shot selection from our expansive collections mean you will be amazed at what you will see in this 150 page book. More information at
African Steam Safari – Albert Falls to Asmara
By Alan Williams – Association of Railway Enthusiasts
A lover of African Steam Railway operations, Alan decided to showcase the brilliance of African Steam operations that lasted into the current millennium in some cases. Drawing from the collections of some great Australian Railway photographers who lived in Africa for some of their lives, this book covers steam operations in Natal South Africa, South African Industrial Lines, Swaziland and Eritrea. Soft cover, full colour with in depth coverage of each area.
$50 per copy
African Steam Safari – Kisumu to the Great Karoo
By Alan Williams – Association of Railway Enthusiasts
The second in this excellent series depicting African Steam operations in detail, combining the photographic excellence of John Allerton, John Gaydon, Graham Hind, Malcolm Holdsworth, Robert Kingsford Smith, Greg Triplett and Mike Tyak. This volume covers steam operations in East Africa, Rosmead – Lootsberg Pass region of South Africa, Angola and The mighty South African Bethlehem and Kroonstad to Beaufort West lines. This showed the might of South Africa’s cape gauge giant 4-8-4s and even 16Es, known to be the largest and fastest Pacifics on narrow gauge. Traversing the might Karoo desert, famous for its unfettered African Sunsets, the clear air and lighting can only be captured faithfully in printed form. If you love smoke and steam, this will not disappoint! $50 a copy
Published in 2010, this is Malcolm Holdsworth’s personal steam journey. Malcolm is the creative genius behind the design of “Northern Exposures” and his first publication, “Focus On Steam” was released in 1971.
If you have any interest in the might of the steam locomotive in days past, this would be a worthy addition to your coffee table collection. Covering 20 countries in an orderly fashion. Malcolm shares many stories and focuses on his best photographs in each location. There are some stunning shots from places as diverse as East Germany and Pakistan. The European coverage is close to my heart as I was standing beside him in many of the locations. We just celebrated 40 years since that journey together.
Malcolm specializes in unusual angles and attention to some of the details many of us missed. Click here to purchase
Famous Last Lines 2
With the original Famous Last Lines a sellout, I have obtained a few copies of part 2 and 3 of this series. As with all of these books, this is full colour, with amazing reproduction, focusing on some of the great steam lines which survived into the 1970s and in some cases beyond.
Famous Last Lines 2 is authored by renowned photographer, Robert Kingsford-Smith. Rags as we affectionately know him. encouraged me to leave the safety of NSW, first travelling to Western Australia and then around the world.
This version features Dona Teresa Cristina in southern Brazil, an iron ore railway with magnificent 2-20-4s. I travelled there in 1976 and was impressed bu the mountainous scenery, waterways and steam power.
The second chapter focuses on South Australia, and the 400 class Garratts which operated out of Peterborough in the late 1960s. You would have to be a good age to have been there. Again superb shots from some Aussie Icons.
The Douro Valley in Portugal has to be seen to be believed. With narrow gauge Mallets and ancient broad gauge 4-6-0s on passenger and freight runs, this line hugs a massive gorge following the Duro river east of Oporto. When I visited in 1974, women still hauled water from the river with jars atop their heads. Hard to believe of a first world country.
Garratts have continued in Zimbabwe and there may even be the odd steam working until now. It was definitely the land of the Garratts with quite a few classes operating, including on the famous Victoria Falls line. With guerilla activites, this area was both fascinating and at times treacherous. A ttally different scene to other railways featured.
The final section is about mighty Zonguldak, a line in Turkey that extends to the Black Sea. If you want steam in snow, this was the place and there are plenty of white pictures in the book. The main motive power was the asthetically pleasing Vulcan Skyliner 2-10-0’s, including banking and snow capped mountain backgrounds.
Famous Last Lines books cover each area in depth, and combine several photographers’ contributions with a well constructed story line. Click here to purchase
Famous Last Lines 3
The book starts with the most southern Steam Railway in the world, Rio Turbio in Argentina. This place is so remote, I didn’t make it on my visit there. There are some who are still hoping to revive this line and it has a tourist train in operation. Across the southern dessert of Argentina, it makes for incredible lighting and photographic license.
Saalfield was an area in East Germany before the wall came down. It featured 01.20 and 01.5 Pacifics, the former being built in the 1920s and capable of hauling trains at over 90 mph (140 kph). I remember seeing these thundering down the Berlin-Dresden line at full speed. It was quite a site. Being typical Germany it features rolling fields and forests, and those Pacifics.
The main line from Bloemfontein to De Aar in South Africa was the domain of the mighty 25 class 4-8-4s. The condensor version were huge and somehow stayed balanced on the 3′ 6″ guage line. In mparticular there is a spectacular shot of the “Drakensburg”, and express passenger that ran from Durban to Cape Town and is second in prestige only to the Blue Train, which unfortunately lost steam power early on. The Drakensburg used the original Blue Train carriages painted green. I rode on this train at Christmas with a group including the gentleman who took this photograph, and it was like a step back in time to where rail travel really meant something. Click here to purchase
One area not covered in “Northern Exposures” was the coalfields near Newcastle NSW Australia. This railway remained in steam hands until the 1980s and this is featured including some great art shots and double headers.
Mick Tyak, is a well known English world steam traveller, and the final section is written by him. It is of modern China, an area which still has some steam movements, and where mighty QJ’s are seen on spectacular lines opened up to foreign tourists in recent years. I was there in 1985 and it was very difficult to get anywhere or take photographs. After the country opened up, photographers found a fertile ground to practice their craft and you can see the results here.
This book is set out differently from the others. In it are many, many great steam photos from around the world. Each time you turn the page there is a surprise, as you discover steam in yet another country! With some 29 countries represented, her is something for everyone. I know, no UK or US, but none of us were around back then, or had the money to travel that far! Never a dull moment with this book, with such variety! This was Cadeco’s first book, in full colour as are all the others, making them something special. Click here to purchase