Miniature Railway World Library - General Title Books

Listed on these pages is the complete collection of general title books on miniature railways - including book description and details on how to order where available.

- Books - Guide Books - Magazines - Media -

- General Titles - Builders - Guides & ABC Series - Photo Books - 7 ¼ - 9 ½ inch - 10 ¼ - 12 ¼ inch - 15 inch + -



MINIATURE RAILWAYS by Michael Crofts. Published by Shire Books, ISBN 0747805296,
Price £4.99, 48 pages. 148 x 210mm.

Chapters cover shapes and sizes, gauges, civil engineering, locomotives and rolling stock, then operating systems and signalling. Finally there is a brief 2002 gazetteer.

In a short book like this nothing is covered in detail, but everything is touched upon, and there are frequent insights which could only have been written from first hand experience. The photographs are equally remarkable, covering all eras, and most in colour. All in all a grand title which surely achieves all it sets out to do.



An example of a (doubtless) well meaning author who was really defeated by the intricacies of our subject. The idea was to divide the country into regions and then examine seaside lines, past and present, in each.

The strength of this book was in the photographs, which made it worth the modest cover price, but as for the text it was really just a case of ugh!



LILIPUTBAHNEN IN PARKS UND GARTEN, Published by Transpress Verlag, Hamburg, ISBN 3613710722. 120pp, 165 x 231mm.

Packed with photographs, many of 15in gauge railways, but some of 7¼ to 15in gauges. Some are historical and a few are in colour.

The text is of course in German. Apparently there was an earlier title and this is a badly updated new edition. I am told that there are a good number of factual errors in it.

Even ignoring the text there are some fascinating pictures (including several of the 'Little Giant' in Budapest) which together with the maps and diagrams make this title well worth having.


MINIATURE STEAM LOCOMOTIVES by George Woodcock, David & Charles, 1964.

Woodcock was a notable character in the miniature railway world during the 1950s to the early 70s. He built a number of very nice 10¼in gauge locomotives, including a Metropolitan Railway 4-4-0 and a Great Eastern Railway 0-4-4. In this book he 'set down what he knew' about the history of miniature railways, together with chapters on railways and builders, much of it as told to him by Henry Greenly, George Flooks, Fred Smithies and Waller Martin. He seems to have worked more from memory than documentary sources, and in some ways later titles make this one look a bit incomplete relative to such wide objectives. Nevertheless the book is still valuable, especially the sections which the author wrote from first hand experience.

LILIPUTBAHNEN By Br Walter Strauss, published originally in Germany, 1938. Limited edition English reprint published by Robin Butterell, 1988.

This large format book covers miniature railways of all sizes, in Britain and Germany, up to the mid 1930s. Strauss seems to have been a bit of an anglophile, and wrote enthusiastically about visits to the UK where he was entertained by Bassett Lowke, and Holder, among others. He refers to Bassett Lowke and Greenly as the 'fathers' of miniature railways, and also has a bit on Blakesley Hall. There is a good selection of large format photographs.

Unfortunately the promoters of the English edition elected to 'correct' one or two facts in Strauss's original text, so you need a German edition to read what he originally wrote. There are few of these around as most were destroyed in the War.


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