Book Reviews

Review by William Featherstone in the November 2007 issue of the Journal of the Railway & Canal Historical Society

“The ‘ganglion of the Midland Railway’ or ‘the junction for everywhere’, as it was also called, this station between Derby and Nottingham has long deserved its own definitive study. Always gas-lit and for many years without road access yet, at its busiest, 150 trains a day called at its draughty platforms. In twelve chronological chapters, this volume describes the historical background to the building of this important interchange station, its physical development and that of the surrounding network of lines, its decline and final destruction. The diagrams help in explaining the complex rail layout that baffled many over the years and the illustrations are comprehensive, complementary to the text and well reproduced. Where the author strays into wider railway or general historical topics some errors creep in, but the work succeeds in its prime objective and does full justice to this legendary station.”

Review in the November 2007 issue of Railnews

“It’s a famous railway name still, even though the station closed in 1968. Still surviving is the late 1960s power signal box and a series of junctions. “But look on a non-railway map and there’s not trace of the place because there was no such place. “Trent was opened in 1862 as an interchange station between north-south and east-west routes of the Midland Railway and was named after the nearby River Trent. Apart from trains, its only access was by footpath or a rough track but is refreshment room survived almost to the end – lit and heated, like the rest of the station, by gas.

Geoffrey Kingscott’s interest in Trent came not as a railway employee or enthusiast but as a local whose research started through the local history society. Despite its title the book records the 108-year history of the station and indeed the much longer and continuing tale of the routes which passed it. “Much of his research was helped by former staff from the station and the book contains a mix of formally recorded history – particularly of the early days – along with insights by some of those who worked there or used the station.

With just two platforms and used largely for interchange, the station was in some ways of limited consideration in a complex area but the book is remarkably comprehensive and reads well. Photograph coverage, too, is extensive but largely from snapshots which have not always reproduced well.”