Further reading

There are a number of published sources of information concerning the test track.

The best and most comprehensive is a privately published paperback:

'The Nottingham to Melton Line 1872 - 1990' by Colin Aldworth of Keyworth, Notts.

ISBN number 0 9516845 0 7.

Last published in September 1991 and now re-issued as an ebook for Kindle and the like

The Nottingham & Melton Railway 1872 to 2004 is a comprehensive publication covering every aspect of this section of the former Midland Main Line from Nottingham to Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.
Most of the line is now used as the Old Dalby Test Track, home of the 1984 nuclear flask crash, test bed for the Advanced Passenger Train (APT) & the Virgin Pendolino.
First published in 1989 & described by the British National Archives as a "definitive piece of research", it has since been upgraded three times, this edition taking us to 2004 .
The first eight chapters cover the history of the line with a complete summary of the passenger services the line carried. These chapters are of particular interest of the rail enthusiasts.
The next seven chapters are particularly popular with local historians as we travel the line from Nottingham through West Bridgford, Edwalton, Plumtree, Widmerpool, Upper Broughton, Old Dalby, Saxelby & Grimston, Holwell concluding at Melton Mowbray.
Each station has its own Fact Tables, and the illustrations include photographs of the line taken by BR Research just before closure.
The concluding chapters cover Holwell Works, Asfordby Mine, and the iron-ore branches to Eaton & Waltham.
This edition has been specially adapted from the 290 page A4 paper publication,
so that it can be read on small tablets as well as more traditional screen sizes.

Another good source of information is an article which appeared in the October and November 1994 issues of Steam World, which included some photographs (including colour) and some fascinating recollections about the line with some anecdotes about Old Dalby itself. The author, a Mr C J Chellis, spent part of his childhood in Old Dalby.

Other books, which include photographs taken on the line are:

'Nottingham Railway Stations in picture postcards' probably out of print

ISBN number 0 946245 36 3.

'Railways Around Nottingham' by Forster and Taylor and also probably out of print

ISBN number 1 870119 13 4.

'T. G. Hepburn - Railway Photographer' by Ian Brown and Brian Stephenson

ISBN number 0 902751 22 0

Great Railway Photographers Series 'Henry Priestley' by Colin Garratt 

ISBN number 1 900193 50 7.

Three books about BR's Research Division which include reference to the test track and some photographs in latter days are:

'APT - An Unfulfilled Promise' by Hugh Williams also probably out of print

ISBN number 0 7110 1474 4.

'25 Years of Railway Research' by Colin Marsden also probably out of print

ISBN number 0 86093 441 1

'Derby Railway Technical Centre' by Colin Marsden also probably out of print

ISBN number 0 7110 1781 6

The Quail Map Company's publication of schematic maps of UK railways includes the Old Dalby test track.


ISBN number 1 0900609 74 5

A Trains Illustrated Special 'British Railways Then & Now' Vol. 6 'The Midland' has several photos of trains between Plumtree and Stanton and at Nottingham Midland in BR days. It also includes a couple in early LMS days at Edwalton.

Articles have appeared in the contemporary railway press since the line has been upgraded and the July 2001 issue of The Railway Magazine features a summary by Colin Marsden on page 42 which also includes some archive pictures.

There are also odd magazines with references/photos such as Steam Railway, Modern Railways and The Railway Magazine, of various vintages.

Trains Illustrated of June 1959 carried an article about traffic on the line between Nottingham and Kettering and includes a detailed look at the line - some extracts from this are included on the 1959 page.

These books and the odd photographs can be picked up at swapmeets, model railway shows etc and there are a few specialist railway bookshops who may have them in stock.

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