Erudite & Instructive History.
These three books are, in my view, required reading for anyone contemplating operating a GWR model railway using goods traffic according to prototype.
The introduction covers the history of freight traffic, the advent of the Railway Clearing House, the common carrier commitment and the economic state of the railway.
It then goes on to discuss in detail traffic patterns, services and goods documentation and finally looks at each of 8 goods districts and the work they did.
It is a well researched and erudite book and gives a view of how it really was, rather than how many people think it was or, perhaps would like to believe it was.
There are numerous pictures, illustrations and maps included.
Part 2A - Written by Tony Atkins
Goods Depots and their Operation. Part 2A deals almost exclusively with the London area but there is also a useful chapter on wagon categories and transfer. Each of the depots in the London district is covered in detail with many pictures and plans of depots shewn. The variety of work and the sheer bulk of goods moved is enormous.
Part 2B - Written by Tony Atkins
This part covers the depots in; the Bristol, Birmingham and Cardiff areas with a chapter given over to some smaller depots and Ross-on-Wye.
The last chapter deals with the improvements made after the great war and in the 1920's.
There are also detailed station truck workings listed for 1893, 1923 and 1939 plus a look the direct & composite wagons for June 1923.
Again, there are numerous pictures and plans of depots. There is a great deal of information about how the railway really worked, which gives a view on how different life was then.