North Japanese Electrical Inventory 1904-2020, its design and growth by Graeme Gleeves


Revealed by Penn & Sword in Could 2021 and written by Graeme Gleeves, this hardback guide is in panorama format, measures roughly 28.6 cm x 22.4 cm, accommodates 168 pages, and accommodates 226 colour and black-and-white images and illustrations. It has a broadcast worth of £25, and will be obtained on-line at a ten% low cost from Pen & Sword and from Amazon for £8.75 on the time of writing.

For a few years, Penn & Sword has been publishing detailed histories of particular person locomotive courses beneath its Locomotive Portfolio sequence. The sequence has each steam and diesel and electrical sub-series, and this guide continues that theme, however with the research of a whole community somewhat than a single locomotive class.

With 14 chapters and an appendix, the guide gives a chronological historical past of Tyneside’s electrical railway, starting with the historical past of coal mining within the space, by means of the event of electrical energy and the beginning of the electrical tramway, to modern-day Tyne and Until the place metro. , In between, the writer describes the development of the world’s electrical railway community and the trains working on it by means of netonization and British Railways.

A devastating hearth broke out at Heaton Depot in 1923, which destroyed or severely broken greater than half the inventory. Sadly, as a substitute of dedicating one chapter to the hearth, the writer has chosen to provide a short overview of the hearth in a single chapter and the way the community has recovered from the hearth within the subsequent. Since this was one of many foremost occasions of the community all through its lifetime, it actually would have been higher to maintain every little thing associated to fireside in a single chapter.

A key determine in early railway electrification, and who performed a useful function within the growth of the Tyneside Electrical community, was Charles Hestermann Merz. Merz and his consultancy, Merz & McClellan, are each referred to a number of instances, however in every case their title is constantly spelled Mertz.

The writer typically mentions “diagram numbers”, however provides no clarification of what they imply. They’re additionally referred to in numerous tables that describe the kind of automobile, once they have been constructed, and their automotive quantity.

An annoying function of the guide is that there’s not a complete checklist detailing all of the models with their manufacturing dates, features, any re-numbering particulars, and data on which motors have been put in in every group of models. Have been. Moreover, Chapter 10, “British Railway Electrical Inventory”, has no desk detailing the models, solely references within the textual content.

The guide has a wonderful collection of illustrations from the early days. Moreover, the textual content could be very effectively detailed, though a lot of it’s written as if the reader is already conversant in {the electrical} community at Tyneside.

Though the guide accommodates some particulars of the event of the community’s routes, I used to be shocked to see an image of the outside of West Moncsiten station because the guide is nominally about rolling inventory.

Whereas the writer did a very good job sourcing most of the early images, the standard of the later images shouldn’t be of the very best normal. With a considerable amount of supply materials available, there isn’t a excuse for a lot of images taken within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties to be overly grainy.

It could have been attention-grabbing if a short chapter on North Japanese Railway Electrical Autocars had been included. As a substitute of drawing energy from third rails or overhead traces, that they had a petroleum engine driving a dynamo that equipped energy to electrical motors. It might be argued that they weren’t electrical shares within the true sense of the phrases, however since they have been electrically powered and are of historic curiosity, they deserve inclusion.

For these of us within the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties, that is how we bear in mind Tyneside Electrics, with the lion and wheel emblem on the facet of the dominant driving automotive.

credit score: RailAdvent

How issues change, from an almost deserted unit on the left to a completely restored to museum situation on the best.

North Eastern Electric Stock 1904-2020 34-35a
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In response to the writer, throughout the conflict years, the RAF declared that the North Japanese livery of the Carmine and Cream shares was clearly seen to German plane. The fleet was subsequently repainted in blue and cream, as seen under.

North Eastern Electric Stock 1904-2020 64-65a
credit score: RailAdvent

These would be the early days of the dreaded yellow streaks. Although the photograph on the backside left is not the very best, the unit’s lack of a yellow bar makes for an attention-grabbing comparability with the opposite models on these pages.

North Eastern Electric Stock 1904-2020 90-91a
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With the arrival of the Tyne & Put on Metro, the inventory is arguably not the identical as the higher trying BR inventory.

North Eastern Electric Stock 1904-2020 124-125a
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The writer is to be counseled for not focusing solely on the electrical passenger inventory. Distinguished between the electrical a number of models, these are electrical shunting locos that served as a department at Newcastle’s Quayside. What is straight away noticeable is that they’ve pantographs, because the quayside department didn’t have a 3rd rail, however was electrified with overhead dwell wires.

North Eastern Electric Stock 1904-2020 134-135a
credit score: RailAdvent

Briefly, the guide is an efficient total appreciation of the event of the broader electrical community round Tyneside, but it surely lacks a complete description of the inventory in a tabular format. The guide has a powerful collection of photographs, although some are overly grainy or over-magnified. It is strongly recommended for these fascinated by electrical rolling inventory and the railway to Tyneside.

The guide is accessible for buy from Amazon and Pen & Sword.

We want to thank Penn & Sword for offering Rail Introduction with a duplicate of the guide for assessment.

the assessment

North Japanese Electrical Inventory 1904-2020, Its Design and Improvement


  • Good total description of Tyneside Electrics’ growth.
  • Effectively researched technical particulars.
  • Fascinating historic photographs.


  • No simply accessible complete inventory checklist.
  • A lot of the guide is written as if the reader is already conversant in Tyneside’s electrical community.
  • The standard of the later photographs shouldn’t be of the very best normal.

assessment evaluation

  • presentation/format

  • technical Information

  • worth for cash


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