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Title:Freightmaster (The National Railfreight Timetable) Review image
Author:Mark Rawlinson
Publisher:Freightmaster Publishing, Swindon
Spec:A5, 128-160 pages, card covers
Publication date:1996-present
Summary:The first publically-available information about freight train timings, these regularly updated books are of especial use to those out photographing but are also of more general interest.
Review:New editions of this book have appeared at regular intervals since the mid-1990s and, as the title suggests, give information on the times of freight trains running across the UK. Due to the nature of the services involved, the presentation is nothing like a traditional passenger timetable. Instead, each book is split into two sections. The first lists trains scheduled to pass through a wide variety of locations, called 'hotspots'. Most cover all services between 07:00 and 23:00 but a handful provide 24 hour coverage. Each train is shown with time and direction of passing, headcode, days of operation, origin, departure time, destination, likely traction and the type of train. The second part looks at each main traffic in turn, with maps to show the terminals and routes served. A subscription-based on-line version of the book is also available. Although perhaps of not much direct interest to wagon enthusiasts, these books are (or at least, were before the advent of real-time, on-line timetables) the best way to track down freight trains. Each edition also provided an interesting overview of the UK freight scene at the time of publication.
Reviewed:16/05/2013 by Thomas Young (Comments made by others can appear in the notes section towards the bottom of this page)
Sample pages:(Click on any image to view full-sized in a new window)
Page image The Winter 1996/1997 edition was the third to appear. Apart from the cover there were no photos.
Page image Just over half of the book was given over to timings of freight trains at a selection of locations around the country.
Page image The second part of the book was the 'Freight Encyclopedia', describing the freight services for each commodity, sometimes further broken down to individual operators, and illustrated with lots of route and terminal maps.
Page image By late 2011 over 60 editions had been produced.
Page image The timetables now took up about three quarters of the book, some tables being accompanied by route diagrams.
Page image A new feature was 'On location', each edition covering a particular place where freight trains could be seen, with maps showing good locations and a selection of colour photographs.
Page image What was the Encyclopedia was now limited to 16 pages of colour maps showing the terminals and routes for each main group of services.
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