by Brian Lewis
32 photographs, 26 line drawings, 3 maps
Softback – ISBN 978 0 901461 17 9
h = 230mm, w = 175mm, 112pp
(Despatch to UK POST FREE; Europe airmail add 15%; rest of world airmail add 30%)
19th-century railway biography has concentrated on major personalities such as Brunel and the Stephensons. They were certainly men of vision but their ideas could not have become reality without able young engineers who assisted them in the mammoth task of building Britain’s railways.
The Cabry’s were such men – they were protégés of George Stephenson and in time created their own sphere of influence which lasted virtually to the end of the Victorian era. Their story is a fascinating one and reveals many of the problems that had to be overcome in the pioneering years of railway operation in Britain and the newly-formed state of Belgium.
Their many contacts in the railway engineering world give us a valuable insight into the growing complexities of Victorian railway management, and the relationship between the characters involved makes interesting and at times amusing reading.
A major undertaking by the Cabrys was the replacement of 80 timber bridges and viaducts on the North Eastern Railway and the author – a specialist in the subject – has included a special review of this work.
Brian Lewis has diligently researched wide-ranging sources to bring us this long-overdue appraisal of a significant 19th-century railway dynasty, and this record fills an undoubted gap in the railway histories of the period.