Ward, Andrew (Rennie Ellis, illus.)
- Railway Stations of Australia
Macmillan Company of Australia Pty. Ltd., Artarmon NSW, 1982.
Quarto; hardcover, with decorated endpapers; 86pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; light softening to the spine extremities; random spotting to the preliminaries; previous owner's ink inscription to the verso of the flyleaf. Mild edgewear and spotting to the dustwrapper (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good. The fantastic and practical, the extravagant and economical, the classical and neo-Gothic, the grandiose and the purely functional are among the railway stations recorded here. In its day the refreshment stops were eagerly anticipated not only for want of sustenance offered but for the opportunity to punctuate the journey. There would be a rush to the refreshment counter, or a drink at the bar; one could walk up front to the locomotive, sweating steam from every joint and glinting with the recent application of oil on the running gear; feel the heat and listen to the beat of the compressor or catch a glimpse of the activity on the footplate. The romance of rail travel is with us yet though largely eclipsed by other forms of transport. Today the steam engine has been pensioned off, the branch line motors, the mixed trains and the roadside freights have mostly run their last trips in revenue service and the remaining passenger services corner a small share of the travel market. The picturesque backwaters of the system have been pruned and many stations reduced to the status of unattended halts. Weeds proliferate amongst the ruins where locomotives were watered and made ready for the road. The doors of countless goods-sheds are locked fast and pigeons roost where we once waited, not so long ago, for 'the pass'. The last surviving element of the transport scene are the stations in their erstwhile magnificence and comfort; their fading wallpapers and elegant fire surrounds, the waiting room appointments and the carved timber refreshment room bars. This book captures them all - from the resort stations, commuter stations, the big city terminals and the unimportant flag stops. Magnificent photography from Rennie Ellis.
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