This book illustrates one of the country's best loved railway companies in the days of steam. Maps, charts, timetables and photographs are used to give the reader a sense of a journey from the compact terminus in Manchester to Godley, the limits of the system, at first opening. The reader is transported back to the original London Road station, using maps, and is walked through the small station to notice the variety of engines, signals and trains that operated there. Gorton, the company's shed and locomotive works as well as its across the track rivals of Beyer, Peacock, are studied. The railway cross-road at Guide Bridge is given due importance and readers may well ponder on the contrast of ruralness of Ardwick, Fairfield and Fallowfield, then, and now. Connections at the joint stations of Stalybridge and Manchester Central station are explored. The latter is expanded to include Old Trafford shed as well as the links to Trafford Park Estate. Included is a review of the impact of electrification on the system, especially the exchanges taking place where the two systems interact. The numerous Joint Lines in this district (to Oldham, Altrincham, Hayfield and Macclesfield) are looked at in a subsequent volume. Pictures, and extensive captions, have been selected to show the variety of engines used and facets of stations or procedures. Where-ever, the use of the subject to the modeller has been a guiding light.