This book takes a nostalgic look at the evolution of Britain’s railway-owned ferry fleets and harbours. Humble dredgers, tugs, and cargo boats; small ferries and excursion ships; and some of the world s finest mailboats and cross-Channel steamers are all featured in evocative photographs.
The book centres upon the period just after the Second World War when the Big Four railway companies had been nationalised and were operating as British Railways. It relates how passenger shipping services developed across our rivers, lakes and the seas around our shores. In addition to their human payloads, the carriage of the Royal Mail, general and specialised cargo, parcels and goods, livestock, private cars and heavy freight vehicles was also fundamental to the whole railway-owned shipping business. The ships are described in detail and fully illustrated with over 240 superb photographs.