Railway Books > The Southern Way Special No.19: Eastleigh Enginemen
The Southern Way Special No.19: Eastleigh Enginemen
Publisher: Noodle Books
The 2022 Southern Way Special Edition is the story of author Keith Dawe's railway career which began in 1964 in the last years of Southern Region steam. Unlike many who joined the ranks of footplate crew, there was no railway tradition in his family. Keith was an academically bright student who gave up his schooling to follow the interest he always had in railways and the steam locomotive in particular. He joined the railway as a cleaner at Eastleigh shed when he was only 15, too young even to become a fireman.
This memoir of those final years of steam at Eastleigh shed is packed with interesting and informative insights on those last years of SR steam, it is also an affectionate and well written recollection of a long-gone era. Chapters deal with diverse topics, such as working both pick up goods trains and longer distance freight diagrams including the nightly services destined for Feltham yard in London. On the passenger side, among the topics covered are the workings through to Bournemouth and the boat trains which served Southampton Docks. The author also provides his personal assessment of the capabilities of many of the different steam classes on which he worked.
Keith's railway career was short-lived. The steam railway he loved disappeared in 1967. He felt there was no future for him on the railway so in 1970 he left and returned to his studies. However, this memoir of his time at Eastleigh in those last years of steam is vivid and fascination to read. All who are interested in SR steam and in that era of transition from steam to diesel and electric traction will thoroughly enjoy this latest Southern Way Special.
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