This film is part of Free

The Country Railway

David St John Thomas talks about his book The Country Railway

News 1976 5 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Westward TV reporter John Doyle visits Buckfastleigh to interview David St John Thomas about his book the Country Railway. David talks about the introduction of the first machines to travel faster than any animal and depicts the race to open new lines that then become part of the landscape they serve. The Country Railway is a history of the people who conceive, build and run the railways but also a portrayal of the railways' role of bringing in and taking away people and goods.

David was raised in Devon during WWII and his first job was as a reporter for the Western Morning News in Plymouth specialising in transport and holiday stories. He worked with the Dartington Hall Trust producing reports on rural transport. He wrote his first book in 1959 and set up the publishing house David and Charles. The Country Railway, first published in 1976 and redesigned since, is thought to be one of the most widely read books about railways with thousands of copies sold.