This is a selection from 153 plates in the 1914 edition of the book of Railway Junction Diagrams, a tantalising set of cartographic puzzles for the anxious traveller on the British Railway system in the years before the grouping. Some diagrams fight against massed ranks of lowering mountains, some against vast bodies of water. Some rural halts are so uncomplicated that they share their space in our consciousness with two others on the page. Sometimes they are intestinal in their complexity, sometimes they are the most cursory of neural structures.

Thank Heavens, say I, that travel by Rail has become so simple and carefree converted back to its Privatised Mode. Huzzah for the hours spent waiting on unmarked platforms for trains that never arrive. Huzzah for the vouchers of compensation. The tracks once so colorful and diverse are now linear parks and the name of Beeching resounds down through History like a Fearsome Curse.