The Railway Magazine


IT IS rare these days to come across a ‘Big Four’ cameraman whose work has not been published widely in books or magazines. Such a photographer is 90-year-old Humphrey Platts, who not only began the hobby in the immediate post-war period when film was hard to obtain, but who managed to record examples of trains on the GWR, LMS, LNER and SR before British Railways had even been formed.

Only recently have a few examples of his work begun to appear online, and it was thus with keen anticipation that I made my way to his Lincolnshire home to see what other treasures lay in store. I was not to be disappointed, as the images on these pages show.

Newly built ‘Castles’, streamlined ‘Duchesses’, Gresley Pacifics bearing two-digit numbers and even a four-wheeled passenger carriage running on a main line. All these and more were recorded by this remarkable enthusiast in the mid-to-late 1940s; he was also active with his camera during BR’s 1948 Locomotive Exchanges.

Born in London on June 25, 1929, Humphrey’s earliest memories are of trains on the former Metropolitan & Great Central Joint line at Northwood, Middlesex, and it was the

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