Southern and Isle of Wight Railways
The Late 1940s to Late 1960s
- Brian Reading
- Ian Reading
15th March 2023
The 1950s and 1960s was a time of profound cultural and technological transformation. With images and vivid recollections, we journey back to post-war southern England. We explore favourite routes and railway places, with many since changed beyond recognition. Trackside, at busy stations, and in and around depots, an evolving mood is revealed in pictures.
In the 1950s, railway pride and optimism overcame staff shortages, returning locomotives to pre-war performance and introducing modern BR standard classes. By the 1960s, fiscal efficiency and the dawning diesel era turned pride to neglect. Sparkling steel, brass and tallow gave way to dust, rust and flaking paint. Soldiering bravely on, the creations of Maunsell and Bulleid ran on some of the last main-line steam routes in the United Kingdom.
People, machines and landscapes are crystalised on film for future generations, reawakening memories for those who lived through this time of change and offering a fascinating insight for those who are too young to have been trackside during this intriguing period of railway history.