Lost Lines Book Series

Tom Ferris is a publisher, historian and author. He has written 16 books and 30 video scripts to date, all relating to his keen passion for railway heritage. He is the Assistant Station Master at Bridgnorth, on the Severn Valley branch of GWR.

Tom’s first four books with Graffeg, the Lost Lines series published in April 2016, explore four railway lines in Wales, all built during the golden age of steam.

Each book takes the reader on a nostalgic journey along the line, tracking the route from end-to-end and reveals the story of the line along the way; from its promotion and construction through to its heyday and eventual demise. The one exception to this is the Cambrian Coast Line which, as the author relates, narrowly escaped the closures of the 1963 Beeching Report and is still very much with us today, fulfilling the vital transport function for which it was built in the Victorian age.

October 2017 saw the release of the next four books in the Lost Lines series, including the Chester to Holyhead line, Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth, the Vale of Neath and the Mid Wales line.

The next two books in the series published in May 2018, looking at the Rhyl to Corwen line and Bangor to Afon Wen. These books are written by authors Paul Lawton and David Southern, with Tom Ferris taking the role of series editor. Following these, books covering the Conwy Valley Line and the Heads of the Valleys published in October 2018, introducing author Geoffrey Lloyd to the series.

The first three titles in the Lost Lines of England series, written by authors Roger Norfolk and Paul Lawton, published in June 2019, covering the Birmingham to Oxford line, Ryde to Cowes line and the Cheddar Valley line.

Paul Lawton

It was almost inevitable that Paul Lawton would grow up with an interest in railways given the railway background in his family tree. His grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather all worked on the railway and between them they gave precisely 100 years service to the London & North Western Railway, the London Midland & Scottish Railway and British Railways. Growing up in Somerset next to the Cheddar Valley line, the subject of his next book for Graffeg, he later moved to Wales and has written extensively on the history and the railway history of Denbighshire.

Geoffrey Lloyd

Geoffrey Lloyd worked in the gas industry for over 35 years and spent over twenty years as an officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Taking early retirement, he then embarked on an academic career in pursuit of educational qualifications that took him to Doctoral level and travelled the world as a consultant and conference speaker. He spent several years with Voluntary Service Overseas that took him to locations such as Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone. He has always harboured a deep interest in railways from childhood and wrote his first book for Graffeg in their Lost Lines series in 2018. He has written ten other books on various subjects such as the History of the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers and research methodology books. He was born in south Wales and now lives in mid-Wales.

Roger Norfolk

Roger’s interest in railways dates from the mid-1950s where the playground talk on a Monday was of the weekend of train spotting by the local main line. He later became a keen photographer, an interest, maintained to this day. As a young man he joined the infant Severn Valley Railway and its permanent way gang, later graduating to steam loco footplate work and management, with 2018 seeing him mark years as a 50 volunteer. A career change in 1991 saw Roger join British Rail to become a driver and, later, manager, from which he retired in 2007. For many years he contributed to the SVR house magazine and, more recently has written articles for other magazines following his role as the driver of Flying Scotsman on the BBC 4 TV documentary, Flying Scotsman From the Footplate. Writing for Graffeg is an interesting challenge that brings together his railway knowledge and photography.

Lost Lines of England

Lost Lines of Wales

Reviews

‘These four handy-sized pocket money-priced volumes contain a potted history of each route in wales, mainly illustrated with black and white pictures from the steam era. […] Of particular interest to readers will be Ruabon and Barmouth, a superb classic cross-country route which now accomodates two heritage lines on its most scenic portions, the Llangollen Railway and the Bala Lake Railway. […] They are each short and simple biographical introductions of each route accompanied by basic maps to highlight station locations.’ Heritage Railway

‘There are now eight books in the series, all in the same format and by the same author. The foreword and introduction describe succinctly and knowledgeably the history of each line, mentioning other lines it connected with. The route is then illustrated by carefully selected quality captioned photographs displaying much variety. Every photograph has a steam train in it and along with describing the location the author explains the features that caused that particular class of locomotive to be used. The device of bleeding the photographs to the edge of the page with no white borders is dramatic. Although he does not say so, these books are a celebration of the work of enthusiastic post-World War II railway photographers. […] Good value for money for a wide audience.’ Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society

Features

Article in the Shropshire Star, 20 January 2018

Tom Ferris, Lost Lines, Lost Lines of Wales, Shropshire Star, Graffeg

Article in The Railway Observer magazine, January 2018

The Railway Observer, Tom Ferris, Lost Lines, The Lost Lines of Wales, Graffeg

Retracing the Lost Lines of Wales: an interview with Tom Ferris

We caught up with author Tom Ferris to ask a little about the origins of the Lost Lines of Wales books and the continued value of Wales’s railways heritage today.

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