Speed Limit 20 Plus

Frank Stamford

"Speed Limit 20 Plus" published by the Puffing Billy Preservation Society is now available from the LRRSA's Online Shop: http://lightrailwayresearchsocietyofaustralia.cart.net.au/

I have now had the opportunity to compare it to the original "Speed Limit 20" published in 1963 which commanded prices sometimes exceeding $400 on the second-hand book market. The reason it was so sought-after was that it contains a vast amount of information, with very few errors, in a very compact well laid out format.

The new version very closely follows the original in terms of page size, content, layout, and illustrations. In terms of quality the new version is superior to the old in every respect: the printing, the paper, the binding, and the photographic reproduction. Much more care has been taken with the cropping of locomotive and rolling stock photographs than was the case in the original version.

The photographs are reproduced better, in some cases startlingly so, like the photograph of Walhalla on page 114. Eleven of the original photographs have been replaced by different photographs illustrating similar content. In all but one case the replacement photographs are superior or more interesting than those they have replaced.

Some corrections have been made to the original text, but these changes have not been identified by the publishers - so I went hunting for them. Those I found were: delivery dates of locomotives p.14; location of air pump on early NA class locomotives p.16; livery of early NAs p.16; Wangaratta - Whitfield station histories p.39. After page 39 I did not find any changes.

The original book ended at page 130 and no attempt has been made to update it to cover subsequent events. It describes the situation as it existed in 1963.
However, pages 133 to 164 are all new and describe subsequent events relating to all five VR 2 ft 6 in gauge lines, including details of locomotives and rolling stock currently on the Gembrook and Walhalla lines, and what remains of the other three lines. Twenty-six new photographs are included in this section.
Contrary to information contained in some of the advertising of this book, it does not contain an index. But because of the structure and layout it is not too difficult to find information quickly.

The price is $49.95 plus postage, with 10% discount to LRRSA members. I expect it may sell out quickly.

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