These were hard times for Ireland. During the 1920s and 1930s a global depression and foreign competition brought unemployment to many regions. At the same time, railway companies were struggling to compete with trucking firms and private automobiles. Great Britain’s major railways enlisted the help of artists to create for them alluring, alternative visions to the stark, modernizing world. Featuring rolling hillsides, glimmering streams, uncrowded seashores, and dramatic mountain vistas, the advertising posters functioned as colorful, oversized snapshots, perhaps focused from the rolling luxury of a railway car. The trains themselves were seldom featured; instead the artists portrayed the idyllic countryside and historic sites to entice potential passengers to purchase tickets for the privilege of taking in such wonders with their own eyes.
The thirty postcards in this book were selected from the collections of the National Railway Museum, York, the largest railway museum in the world. Its permanent displays and collections illustrate over 200 years of British railway history from the Industrial Revolution to the present day. The NRM includes a fabulous collection of railway advertising posters charting the history of rail.