first_imgThe Western’s HydraulicsThis 174-page hardback traces the technical and political background of British Rail’s 1950s dieselisation and the Western Region’s decision to opt for diesel hydraulic designs.£25·00 from Atlantic Publishers, Trevithick House, Penryn, Cornwall TR10 8HE, Great Britain.Fax: +44 1326 378309 Book reviews,Derailed: What went wrong and what to do about America’s passenger trainsby Joseph VranichA penetrating and brutally candid analysis by Amtrak’s one-time press spokesman of fatal weaknesses within the federally funded organisation that could see an end to inter-city passenger trains. The solution offered is early replacement of Amtrak with franchised services performing specific functions, ending the concept of a unified national passenger rail network.US$24·95 from St Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010-7848, USA.Fax: +1 212 420 9314Le Guide des Gares 1997Claimed as the first of its kind, this handy 115x210mm paperback fills a gap in the information needed by rail travellers. Taking the 259 stations in SNCF’s Ville a Ville quick reference timetable, it gives address, opening times, average train service per day and other brief details of station services, including transport links and distance from the city centre. A section lists hotels, restaurants and places of interest in the order of their distance from the station.FFr99·00 from La Vie du Rail, Service Commandes, BP519, 60505 Chantilly Cedex, France.Credit card Tel: +33 1 49 70 12 58Quality of Freight ServiceResearch was conducted in 1996 to try and identify the needs and priorities of Australia’s rail freight users. Customers were asked to assess and prioritise all aspects of non-bulk services offered by various operators. The key areas of service quality were found to be punctuality, care of cargo and containers, terminal efficiency and lack of wagon capacity. Australian Government Publishing Service, GPO Box 84, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.Fax: +61 6 295 4888Web site

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