In a series of evocative and revealing photographs Eric Sawford recalls the climax of the steam age on Britain's railways, and the sudden eclipse of steam, just 40 years ago. He celebrates the work of the last generation of steam-driven locomotives and records the coming of diesel traction which, in just a few years, became the dominant form of power. The magnificent steam locomotives are shown in their pomp, when they were the workhorses of the entire railway system. But they are also shown in decline when they were reduced to shunting duties or decayed in storage or waited in line for the scrapman's torch. A Surprising number of these wonderful machines somehow survived the process of dereliction and scrap. Through the efforts of railway preservation societies, many of these relics of the great steam era have been saved and immaculately restored, and Eric Sawford tells their stories.