Book Review Rutland Local History & Record Society Researching Rutland	Registered Charity No 700273
Peter Smith Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform First published 16 Nov 2013 ISBN-13: 978-1493769759 122 pages, paperback, £12.95 This book describes and illustrates the Midland Railway cross country line from Syston to Peterborough, with photographs, track plan and building drawings. It is the first book devoted entirely to this railway, which has been undeservedly overlooked for so long. The Syston to Peterborough Railway Act was passed on 30th June 1845, and the line was opened to passengers on 1st May 1848. This first railway line through Rutland had much distinctive architecture and many of the smaller stations were so little used that they remained largely unchanged until they closed. The line remains in use today, not only as a link between Leicester and Peterborough, but also as an essential part of the route between Birmingham and Stansted Airport. It is busier than ever, particularly with freight traffic.  However it did suffer under the ‘Beeching Axe’, loosing Ashwell, Manton, Luffenham and Ketton stations. Oakham is now the only station in Rutland. I was delighted to be told about this book because I have an interest in steam trains, but more particularly because, as a schoolboy, I travelled this line twice a day for four years in the late 1950s - from Luffenham to Oakham and return. I wasn't aware of it then, but these were some of the last days of steam. My journey to school would today be a steam enthusiast's dream. Having cycled from near Glaston, I caught the Uppingham to Stamford two-carriage push-pull train, which we called 'The Doz', at Uppingham Station. This then took me, at a very sedate pace, first to Seaton, where we had to wait for a connection on the Rugby to Peterborough line, then on to Morcott and Luffenham. Here I changed to the Peterborough to Syston train for the rest of my journey to Oakham. Happy days! Peter Smith's well researched and illustrated book brings back many happy memories of these times, as well as being a very interesting read. There is a good accompanying website too. Robert Ovens
The Syston and Peterborough Railway: The Midland Railway cross country line described and illustrated