The evolution of the engine, from M Cugnot in 1771 through to locomotives of 1840, is shown through drawings (p1-2). Some early carriage examples also feature, alongside contextual information such as railway gauges. As well as measured elevations of the locomotives, each sheet is illustrated with features of the line such as Stoney Creek Viaduct (Great Eastern).
British locomotive drawings start with Locomotion No 1 in 1825 (p5 onward). Early locomotives of the Stockton & Darlington, North Eastern, Caledonian, Ulster, Northern of Ireland, Great South & West Ireland, Lancashire & Yorkshire, North Staffordshire, South Staffordshire, Midland, Metropolitan, Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire, London & North Western, Wrexham Mold & Connors Quay, Mersey Tunnel, Taff Vale, Rhymney, Festiniog, Great Northern, London & South Western, Great Eastern, South Eastern, London Tilbury & Southend, Great Western, North London, London Chatham & Dover, St Helen's, Sligo Leitrim & Northern County, Glasgow & South Western, Great North of Scotland, Highland, North British and London Brighton & South Coast Railways are illustrated. The locomotives are shown with their production date and key details, 1824-1885.
American locomotives, 1804-1882, are illustrated on p3-4.
From The Evolution of Early Locomotives by West, 1885. West was Chief Draughtsman for London and North Eastern Railway.