For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway

BUS.DL: Bus Timetables for England and Wales 1929 as a Download.

NEW SEPTEMBER 2020. This is a book which contains bus timetables for England and Wales in September 1929. You will find it hard to purchase more information than this for £2 - there are over 1100 pages of tiny print. Moreover it is quite a rare item: at the time of writing this description, there is only one copy available second-hand - and, though described as in poor condition, it is priced at more than £150.

Obviously there is little railway content, though the GWR operated several routes and the LNER still ran a few bus services in Co Durham. These are all there. So too are the big operators, of course, and many smaller ones - right down to the intriguingly named Surprise Bus Service which had a single route on the Isle of Wight.

The publication was the Roadways Motor Bus Timetables. It tried to do for bus services what Bradshaw did for the railways. It apparently came out each month, priced at sixpence. The first one probably appeared in 1928, and it was certainly still produced in July 1930.

The issue which was scanned is best described as a working copy. Its cheap paper is crumbling, and the motivation for scanning it was to preserve all that information as well as to make it available to anyone else who might be interested.

It lists most (though maybe not all) the services between towns and villages. Coverage of routes which lay entirely within a town or city seems to be haphazard. Only a few of the long-distance coach services appear. Nevertheless there are still well over a thousand pages of tables, detailed but compressed rather like Bradshaw's.

The unknown original owner also purchased later editions of the publication (such as November 1929 and July 1930) and used them to update this volume. Thus there are a lot of additions and amendments pasted in, making it sometimes resemble a scrap-book. There are also an abundance of pencilled ticks in the margins, but none of them obscure any of the information.

The book is presented as two PDFs. One (88 pages) contains the indexes to operators and to locations, including even small villages. The second (1018 pages) has the actual timetables. Both are word-searchable and have had bookmarks added to help you to navigate them.

The files are arranged in the format of a ‘virtual CD’, though it is available only as a download.

If you add the item to your cart and buy it, you will be able to download two files: one provides a link to the main download and the other explains what you do with that link. The final files are quite big, totalling 300 MB, so inevitably they will then take some time to download - a few minutes perhaps. What you will get is a zipped folder. If you are using Windows on a PC, right-click on the folder to get a menu and choose 'extract all...' or 'unzip...'.

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