|The definitive history of Fife's most extensive industrial railway. It was developed against the wishes of the NBR, which held a monopoly in Fife, by the Wemyss Estate, to carry its considerable coal traffic. Development of the collieries and ports (Methil in particular) is also covered in detail in this book. Coal formed such an important factor in the total industrial history of this part of Fife that it is impossible to tell the story without reference to the wider implications of the social changes of the area.
The Wemyss Coal Company was incorporated into the National Coal Board in 1947. The railway was not absorbed, it continued to be run by the Estate - although with a management committee which included NCB representation. Coal mining still continues in Fife, but now it is only a shadow of its former self. A chapter on the Wemyss and Buckhaven Railway, contributed by Alan Simpson, is included along with numerous maps, contemporary archive material, and many evocative photographs.
Alan Brotchie is a Chartered Civil engineer with a life long interest in transport. A native of Edinburgh, but a Fife resident for many years, he has researched and written extensively on Scottish tramways. In 1976 he published his history of the Wemyss Tramway Company, and at that time met and recorded the memories of several of the estate railway officials. This work on the Wemyss Private Railway is made particularly detailed following privileged access to the privately held records of the Wemyss Estate. With an interest in all aspects of industrial and transport history, he is presently undertaking research into the Halbeath and Fordell mines and associated transport.
The book is to A5 format and consists of 272 pages and is printed on art paper throughout, it includes more than 230 photographs, plans, maps etc. It is casebound with gold-blocked spine and a laminated full colour dust jacket.