Less than 50 years ago, trains were routinely hauled by majestic steam-powered locomotives. These magnificent machines still exercise a powerful hold on our imagination, conjuring up the romance of old-fashioned rail travel and the excitement of human ingenuity pitted against the challenges of narrow passes, tight bends and fearsome gradients. Although the heyday of steam has passed, it is still possible to travel on preserved lines, heritage railways and industrial lines where steam traction is still in use. Many of these journeys have been made possible by the dedicated efforts of steam enthusiasts, who have struggled to acquire, keep open and refurbish routes that railway companies had earmarked for closure. This book profiles 26 of these remarkable journeys, ranging from the popular Ffestiniog Railway in northern Wales to the Changa Manga Forest Railway of Pakistan. Each chapter sketches the story behind the journey and details the locomotives that are in use, illustrated throughout with spectacular photography.
It covers the Americas: Alberta Prairie Steam Tours (Canada) by Anthony Lambert; Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Railway (Canada) by Pierre Home-Douglas; Cass Scenic Railroad (United States) by Steve Barry; Grand Canyon Railway (United States) by Steve Barry; Steamtown National Historic Site (United States) by Steve Barry; Mount Washington Cog Railway (United States) by Steve Barry; Guayaquil & Quito Railway (Ecuador) by John Parker; and, The Old Patagonian Express (Argentina) by Carl G. Perelman. It includes: Europe: Ffestiniog Railway (United Kingdom) by Anthony Lambert; North Yorkshire Moors Railway (United Kingdom) by Anthony Lambert; Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway (United Kingdom) by Anthony Lambert; Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme (France) by Peter Lemmey; Le Train des Pignes (France) by Peter Lemmey; Dampfbahn Furka-Bergstrecke (Switzerland) by Anthony Lambert; Bad Doberan-Kuhlungsborn West (Germany) by Anthony Lambert; Rugensche Kleinbahn (Germany) by Anthony Lambert; Wolsztyn to Poznan (Poland) by Ailsa Camm; Ostra Sodermanlands Jarnvag (Sweden) by Michael Whitehouse; and, The Setesdalbanen (Norway) by Colin Boocock.
It also covers: Africa: Railway Revival in the Horn of Africa (Eritrea) by Nick Lera, The Banana Express (South Africa) by Paul Ash, and, Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe (South Africa) by Paul Ash; Asia - The Hedjaz Railway (Syria/Jordan) by Anthony Lambert, and Changa Manga Forest Railway (Pakistan) by Peter Lemmey; and, Australia - The Great Zig Zag Railway Susan Storm, The Pichi Richi Railway by Philip Game.
Top Steam Journeys of the World features contributions from 13 rail writers, many of whom also contributed to The World's Great Railway Journeys and Extraordinary Railway Journeys, both published by New Holland. Among the authors are Steve Barry, Peter Lemmey, Nick Lera and Colin Boocock, who have also provided some of the memorable photography contained in the book. Anthony Lambert, consultant and author, has travelled on the railways of over 40 countries and written 15 books about his experiences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a trustee of both Birmingham and Kidderminster railway museums.