The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #48724   Message #737285
Posted By: HuwG
26-Jun-02 - 08:50 AM
Thread Name: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
Subject: RE: Discussion: Love Affair With Trains
Hrothgar : Not that I dispute any of your post re. the Great Western, but folklore has it that it was frequently referred to as "God's wonderful Railway", a play on the initials, GWR.

Of the other railways in "the big four" (i.e. the four main regional groupings of railways in Britain, created via various amalgmations in the 1920's), the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) was sometimes referred to as "The London and Nearly Everywhere Railway", and the London, Midlands and Scottish Railway (LMSR) was apocryphally called "Long may Steam reign". The Southern Railways (SR) didn't give wags much scope for clever interpretation.

[Some jealous railwaymen had it that "GWR" stood for "Great Way Round". This was sheer slander; the GWR was easily the biggest single pre-amalgamation operator, and it took over only some small and easily-assimilated operators such as the Taff Vale Railway. The other members of the big four were each created from two, three or four equally-sized operators, and it took many years before they settled down to single standard procedures and equipment, if they ever did].

A good impression of life on British railways, made up of vignettes which span more than a century, is the book, "Red for Danger", by L.T.C. Rolt. If you can get it, that is; it has probably been out of print for years.