Comments from our Readers

In the last 9 years we have published 6 full colour steam rain books. The NSW books were so popular they sold out in a few months. Here, we present some feedback we received from our readers.

Copies of Where There’s Smoke Part 1 & 2 are still available from this website at a great price until we run out.

Feedback on Where There’s Smoke

Thanks John, you fantastic book arrived yesterday, and I am enjoying taking my time

going through the various countries. Amazing photography by some of the all time great

steam enthusiasts travelling around the World. Once again, thank you for the opportunity

to purchase

Alan Jones

Feedback on Where There’s Smoke

John Phillips rang me the other day to say he had received two copies of your new book, one of which was for me.  That was totally unexpected because all I did was undertake a couple of scans that was a pleasure for me to do and so simple.  I met up with John yesterday and he handed over the book to me.   WOW!!!!!!!!!   It is magnificent in every respect.  Thank you so much and I am very grateful for your generosity.

 I don’t think I have seen a better book for its quality, presentation, subjects covered and the magnificent images.  For any of us that have been so lucky to witness first hand what steam locomotives can do it is even better.  Apart from Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand and of course Australia, the rest was new to me.  There is so much to look at in just about every photo.  The cover shot was a great lead into what was to follow.  I love the inclusion of people and animals in many shots and so much of the railway infrastructure as well. 

 The range of photographers who contributed images was wonderful.  Some I know or have known but many were new to me.  The efforts you all put into getting those photos was immense and for me to now get the opportunity to see them in comfort is very special.

 I could say much more but I hope I have adequately conveyed my appreciation and absolute pleasure I have had already at looking through such as great publication.  I will spend much more time taking it all in.

 Many thanks again,

 Bob Wilson

This review of “Shooting the West” by Malcolm Holdsworth first appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Australian Model Railway Magazine and is reproduced with permission.

“Shooting The West” created by Malcolm Holdsworth, published by CADECO. Distributed by PEMS, PO Box 7124, Kariong 2250. Mob: 0411 139 312. Website: Price: AU$80.00.


“Shooting The West” is the latest volume in a series that began with “Northern Exposures”, which was reviewed in AMRM Issue 309 (December 2014), and “Lenses South”, reviewed in AMRM Issue 319 (August 2016).

Carrying on the theme, this latest full-colour, 156 page, A3-sized volume covers the western area of NSW, starting with the Main Western line west of Lithgow (with a few bonus pre-electrification shots on the Blue Mountains to the east) and encompassing the branches to Mudgee (and beyond), Cowra, Forbes and the far west past Dubbo.

The format is familiar from the earlier volumes: superb photographs with informative and accurate captions, interspersed with essays on various aspects of steam working in the area during the 1960s and early 1970s. As with the earlier volumes, the Introduction gives an overview of the steam activity timeline and, most usefully for the modeller, how many and what classes of steam locomotives were allocated to the various depots during that time. The subsequent chapters, grouped according to area, give, through photos and text, a fascinating insight into what was happening in those areas at the time. Also, as with the previous volumes, there are chapters of personal reminiscences of various train-related activities carried out by the writers, such as rail journeys and train chasing escapades, including a very amusing, but far too close, brush with the Constabulary!

The images, of course, are the centrepiece of the book and, as with the previous volumes, they are absolutely amazing, both in quality of reproduction and content. My personal modelling activities are very much anchored in the west and there is plenty here to inspire! Preparation of the review coincided with my construction of a 53 class locomotive in HO scale, so I was particularly primed to notice images that included the 53 class, as one can never have enough references if one wishes to construct a good model. As the west was a prime haunt of the 53 class, there are plenty of photos to inspire, such as those on p.45 and p.93, but it is the images of the 36 and AD60 class locomotives that really stand out. The image of 3675 at Bathurst on p.65 is magnificent, capturing not only the ‘drama’ of steam, but also providing a superb guide to detailing and weathering a convincing model. I may have to detail and weather another ‘pig’!

It is not only the images of the locomotives that are useful to the modeller, there are so many photos that capture useful details of the train consists, as well as the surrounding infrastructure and scenery.

This book is a magnificent record of the last decade of steam on the west and must appeal to enthusiasts of the area in any scale, from 1:1 on down! In fact, I would go as far as to say that anyone who claims to model the western area of NSW in the 1960s and does not have this book on their shelves (and consult it regularly) will seriously handicap their ability to produce an authentic model…
James McInerney
Australian Model Railway Magazine

James McInerney

Editor, Australian Model Railway Magazine