Three shots from 1984 in Michigan - left approaching Ann Arbor, centre and right Detroit Michigan Central station (see below).
Tim Edmonds - research interests and recent publications
Although my main research interests are in railway subjects, I have also worked on other forms of transport and am currently researching the surviving structures and artefacts of Blue Motors, a Minehead bus and coach operator from 1916 to 1954, and the history of a boat landing place at Bradley Gate (present day Blue Anchor). Current railway research includes an investigation into when the 'railway station' transmogrified into the 'train station'.
Projects awaiting publication include two articles about short-lived narrow gauge railways, at Yarwood Mill and Barrow Butterfly Farm, and one about the broad/metre gauge level crossing that used to exist where two main lines intersected at Ratlam, India.
Some of my recent publications are:
'Detroit Michigan Central - the twilight years'
Locomotives International Issue 117, December 1018/January 2019
Train services to the once-magnificent former Michigan Central station in Detroit, from visits to the area 1983-4, shortly before the station closed. It has now been purchased by the Ford Motor Company.
'On the 18-inch at Fairbourne'
Narrow Gauge World Issue 134, October 2018
Notes on the use of an 18-inch gauge locomotive on the Fairbourne Railway in the 1920s and 1930s, with rare photos of the loco and mixed-gauge track, plus a recent photo of the locomotive concerned as a museum exhibit.
'British Military Railway work in Italy, 1917-18' in Dr Paul E Waters & J Julian Rainbow (Eds), British Military Railways Overseas in the Great War, Mainline & Maritime for
The British Overseas Railways Trust
Chapter about the little-known work of the British on military railways in Italy during the last year of the Great War, including coverage of the Thiene - Calvene Light Railway and the disposal of some narrow gauge railway equipment on an unusual industrial line in Italy after the conflict.
'The Kowloon-Canton Railway (British Section) in 1948'
The British Overseas Railways Journal No 41, Winter 2017
Article about the post-war years on the Kowloon-Canton railway in Hong Kong, based on photographs taken in 1948 by the late John Harrison when he was on National Service with the Hong Kong Signals Squadron. There is an introduction about the development of the line and a postscript on subsequent developments, including three of my own photos). One of Harrison's photos is shown above. This Journal appeared in May 2018, in spite of the 2017 cover date.
[Alas, some text was lost during final production after proof-checking: on page 81, the (non-)sentence that reads "After the post-war carried out to the rest." should be "After the post-war reconstruction of the railway, the WD 2-8-0s became the main motive power on the KCR(BS), being used on both passenger and goods trains. However, the low grade coal used did not suit their fireboxes and so numbers 21-5 were converted to oil firing and firebox modifications were carried out to the rest.]
'Last Days on the Futwah-Islampur Light Railway'
Locomotives International Issue 113, April/May 2018
Article about the declining years of a narrow-gauge railway in Bihar, India, illustrated with photographs taken on a visit in December 1985, shortly before the line closed.
'One train a day: Jerusalem - Tel Aviv in 1977'
Locomotives International Issue 110, October/November 2017
Illustrated article about a journey from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv on the only train of the day on 11 September 1977, with some historical background about the line.
'Bradley Gate: myth and mystery at Blue Anchor station'
Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society 229, July 2017
Shows that the frequently-repeated story that Blue Anchor station was once called 'Bradley Gate' is a myth and then suggests how the myth arose.
'To Teignmouth for the day: a Heathcoat factory excursion from Tiverton'
Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society 228, March 2017
Description, interpretation and historical background to a watercolour painting of an early railway excursion train at Teignmouth, Devon.
'Archive foursome: South Africa 1979'
Locomotives International Issue 106, February/March 2017
Photo feature showing steam locos in action on South Africa Railways in October 1979. Alas, I gave the wrong caption to the first picture in the magazine. The loco is a different member of the same class, 25NC 3475, and shows the 07:45 from Bloemfontein to Ladybrand on the outskirts of Bloemfontein on the following day. Sorry about that.
'Territorial Limits - another selection of railway company boundary markers'
BackTrack Vol 30 No 9, September 2016
This is a follow-up to a photo-feature article published in the same magazine in 2009, with captioned photographs of varous railway company boundary markers still in situ.
'Diesels in the Pacific North West'
Locomotives International Issue 102, June/July 2016
Photo feature of some colourful vintage diesels in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, with pictures taken during a visit in 1976.
'Overhead Electric to the Front Line'
Narrow Gauge World Issue 109, January/February 2016
The story of the unique overhead-electric military railway built to supply the Austro-Hungarian front line on the Italian front in what is now Slovenia, with rare archive photos of the line in operation. With new information coming from the publication of this article, I made two corrections via a letter to the Editor, which was published in Issue 111, May 2016.