Brian Mills

Animated Train - Standard Gauge

Brian, although not a railway employed person, is however affiliated to the railway fraternity through The Permanent Way Institution for which body he regularly organises technical visits to Engineering sites of interest but mainly preserved railway sites. His Particular favourite lines are the Severn Valley Railway and the Dean Forest Railway the latter where he has delivered two well appreciated slide presentations and is in the process of writing a book on another FOD system. The Forest of Dean was one of the first systems that Brian photographed and had the privilege of recording practically every state point in the very complicated system. To compliment these early photographs he has regularly visited those same sites and taken more photographs from as close to the original position as possible. Some examples of his work can be seen behind the links below.

Tonteg Junction alongside the Taff Valley, South Wales. OS Ref. 309650,186600

Another field within Engineering that Brian is an undisputed expert is Industrial screw threads about which he has published two monographs and is well known in the PWI as possibly the foremost authority on GWR & BRWR semaphore signalling and was also on a technical panel of The British Standards Institution until 2002. (With the pending change to an all e-mail link with BSI, like the then chairman of the panel, he resigned from the technical committee on the grounds of “retirement”).

You would think that with all this accumulated knowledge, he could maybe have capitalised on his almost photographic memory and meticulous attention to detail but the root of his immense enthusiasm is what makes it all so enjoyable. If it was part of a job, maybe part of the pleasure would have been lost.

Prior to becoming a member of the PWI, Brian was for five years granted a photographic permit allowing access to the entire South Wales railway network and this was extended to 1969 and reinstated from 1988 to 1992 on his return to Wales after living for 17½ years in West Sussex.

Animated Train - Narrow Gauge

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