This beautifully presented full colour expose of steam trains around the world, features three excellent Railway Photographers, the late George Bambery, Malcolm Holdsworth and Robert Kingsford-Smith. In this publication the three try to outdo each other with superb photos from every continent on earth, except Antarctica for obvious reasons!

Being the first of the Cadeco series of publications, it features the cream of their collections gained from a combined 75 years of photographing steam. From Australia to the South of Argentina, Turkey to South Africa, plus superb shots in Pakistan, there is something for everyone here. Considering the three went on to produce Famous Last Lines 1,2 and 3, without exhausting their collections, you can imagine the quality presented here.

George Bambery

Can you imagine venturing to the Pakistan Afghan border to get a photo of this quality. These days you probably wouldn’t get out alive! This is one of my favourites from the George Bambery collection.

steam train pakistan quetts chaman
Pakistan 1984. The train from Quetta to Chaman, on the Afghan border, is dwarfed by the peaks of the Hindu Kush as it ventures beyond Bostan in Baluchistan.

Another of George’s taken near Seljuk Turkey where ancient history meets modern steam traction. Fortunately Turkey slowed down dieselisation for a period or we would have missed sights such as this one.

seljuk turkey steam train
Turkey 1977 Mosques, mountains and motive power. Corpet 2-10-0 56917 pilots a Kriegslok away from the Crusaders’ fort at Seljuk.

Malcolm Holdsworth

Malcolm is never one to back down from a challenge, and indeed is the driving force behind Cadeco, publisher of this and many other fine Railway books. With a reputation for eloquent language and an eye for the unusual, Malcolm comes up with some unique and impacting photos worthy of the best photographic exhibitions of any kind.

The unique lighting and photographic angle make this rather ordinary journey of a German 2-10-2 travelling near the Hartz Mountains into a spectacular shot.

hartz mountains steam train
Germany 1993. During January 1993 we were blessed with eleven days of clear sky. IN earlier years, I had spent 2 separate weeks in the Hartz Mountains for a total of one hour’s sunshine. A 2-10-2T drapes the countryside with steam as it climbs between Stiege and Hasselfelde.

With somewhat more spectacular scenery, Malcolm was lucky enough to visit Darjeeling in India on an occasion the line was not washed away! Apparently there still is hope of more steam trips on this line, weather permitting.

darjeeling india steam train
India 1986 The Kurseong workers’ train climbs energetically near Tung on its way to the summit of the Darjeeling line.

Robert Kingsford-Smith

Rags, as he is affectionately known by those closest to him, was a mentor to all of us back in the days. Being a few years older, and perhaps wiser, his enthusiasm drove many of us to venture to far away lands in search of steam.

Syria 1976. A Swiss built 2-6-0 tank on a train from Damascus to the Lebanese border climbs through the Baraba Gorge, scene of fighting in World War 2 involving Australian troops. Driving out of Damascus a few hours before taking this photo, we found ourselves in the middle of a huge military convoy heading west. It was the Syrian army on its way to invade Lebanon.

In 1976, around the time the Syrian’s invaded Lebanon, Rags got this shot in the Baraba Gorge, on the way to the border. He was lucky to get there, having met the invasion force on its way to the border on route to the photo location.

Chile 1978 Handsome 80 Class 4-8-2 number 860 spent half an hour at Afquintue waiting for 2 opposing movements. During that time we were invited into the cab for afternoon tea. Finally the “right of way” was given so, with whistle chiming and bell ringing, 860 eased her heavy Temuco to Osorno freight out of the station precincts.

Southern Chile featured a broad 5’6″ gauge main line with huge 4-8-2s equipped with US style bells. I particularly like this shot in the timbered countryside, not unlike many parts of Western Europe. The site of one of these beasts arriving with bell clanging was definitely a reminder of US steam days.

I have managed to get the last few copies of this superb publication, locked away for many years in a shed. Fortunately they were kept in perfect condition, ready for future connoisseurs of steam. If you are looking for some great photos which share the history of the steam engine from around the world, this is the one that set Cadeco on its way to becoming acknowledged as producer of the finest Railway Publications.

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