The telegraph and the absolute block and single line operation comprise the second volume in a series titled The History and Development of Railway Signalling in the British Isles. the two parts are presented separately, each with its own pagination and index. The electric telegraph was invented about the same time that the trunk railways came into being. It became the usual method of transmitting information and also played a part in the direct control of trains. In the latter case it was an essential feature of 'block working'. Both are dealt with in part 1. Part 2 describes the systems which have evolved to operate trains safely on single lines. Clearly, a greater degree of care is needed than that for double lines because of the risk of two trains meeting head-on. In Britain, and in those parts of the world influenced by British railway operating practices, the use of 'tokens' was most common but other arrangements were used and are described in detail.
David Stirling was born and brought up in Glasgow, from where railway explorations as a teenager brought him into Perthshire. on one of these an invitation to the signal box at Balquhidder West developed into a life-long interest in railway signalling. In everyday life he is a university mathematician and is current Head of the Department of Mathematics and Faculty Director of Teaching and Learning at the University of Reading. Although not a career railwayman, he has some railway experience, through summer employment on the Festiniog Railway in the 1960s and 1970s, where he worked as signalman and in various other operating roles, including writing the company's rule book, and later, as a volunteer, on the signalling. He has published many articles on railway signalling, mainly through the Signalling Record Society and the IRSE. He is author of three books on mathematics but this is his first book on signalling.
The Friends of the National Railway Museum is a registered charity which gives financial help to the NRM and provides volunteers to assist it in preserving, displaying and interpreting Britain's railway heritage.
The dust cover of this first edition is in very good condition apart from some minor creasing around the folds and top and bottom. There is minor creasing to the bottom of the spine of the hard cover and some bleaching to the bottom of the back of the hard cover. The pages look unread and include black and white photographs and diagrams throughout.