TR (mono) & ZTR (stereo) Argo Transacord LP series

The TR (mono) and ZTR (stereo) series was used almost exclusively by Argo for LP issues (and re-issues) of Peter Handford’s Transacord steam railway recordings.

Although the dates given on the discs and covers were often those of the initial releases, as far as I can work out the TR and ZTR series began to be issued in 1969 and were initially taken up with re-releases of DA and ZDA series albums (see comments below).

For 7" ‘steam’ EPs, see the EAF/ZAF series. ‘Steam’ LPs were also issued on the DA/ZDA series and the SPA ‘The world of…’ compilation series that Decca were pushing hard from 1969.

Issue No First release Details Pic
TR 101
DA 6
West Highland Line

Steam locomotives of the former NBR. LNER and LMS at work at various locations on the West Highland line, during winter and spring, in the 1950s.
 TR 101 DA 6 west highland line front
TR 102
DA 7

Ex LMS and other steam locomotives, heard from the lineside, at various locations between Tebay and Shap Summit, between 1958 and 1960
DA 7 shap front cover (old version)
TR 103
DA 8
Somerset and Dorset

Steam locomotives of various types, at work on the S&D line, at different locations between Evercreech Junction and Masbury in 1956 and a journey on the double headed Pines Express, between Bath and Evercreech Junction.

Cover here is from 1969 re-release, I think.

TR 103 somerset and dorset
TR 104 1961
DA 9
West of Exeter

1957 and 58 recordings of GWR steam locomotives at Dainton and Exeter and from inside signal boxes at Tigley and Exeter.

TR 104 west of exeter
TR 105
DA 12
Trains in the Night

1959, 1961 and 1962 recordings at Bromsgrove on the GW & GC line, on the Central Wales line and on the Carlisle-Edinburgh line

TR 105 trains in the night
ZTR 106
1962 ZDA 13 Newfoundland Heads the Waverley

Journey on Waverley Express, hauled by Jubilee 4-6-0 Newfoundland, between Hellifield and Blea Moor. Lineside recordings at Dent and Ribblehead in 1960.

First Peter Handford stereo recording issued?

ZTR 106 newfoundland heads the waverley
TR 107
DA 14
The Great Eastern

1950s recordings of locomotives of various classes at work on Great Eastern lines.

TR 107 great eastern
ZTR 108
1963 ZDA 21 The Triumph of an A4 Pacific

Recording of May 1959 record-breaking run between Doncaster and Kings Cross on the SLS special train, headed by Sir Nigel Gresley driven by Bill Hoole.

ZTR 108 The triumph of an A4 pacific
ZTR 109
1963 ZDA 22 Trains in the Hills

Lineside recordings of locomotives of the London Midland and Western regions at Shap, Blea Moor, Abergavenny and on the Lickey Incline.

ZTR 109 trains in the hills 2
ZTR 110
1963 ZDA 23 Whistling Through Dixie

Recordings of locomotives in the Southern States

ZTR 110 whistling through dixie
ZTR 111
1963 ZDA 24 Sunday Only

Recordings of Sunday excursion trains between Chicago and the Great Lakes
ZTR 111 sunday only
ZTR 112
1963 ZDA 25 Steam Railroading Under Thundering Skies

Recordings of two journeys on the Bonhomie and Hattiesburg Southern in Mississippi

ZTR 112 steam railroading under thundering skies
ZTR 113 1964
DA 28 ZDA 28
Rhythms of Steam

Lineside recordings at Tyndrum, Tyne Dock, Hitchin, Templecombe, Montrose and Barkston Junction. A journey on a special train, hauled by the Midland Compound 4-4-0, No 1000.
ZTR 113 rhythms of steam
TR 114
DA 31
Working on the Footplate

Footplate recordings of: an A4 Pacific with Aberdeen-Glasgow express, a V2 2-6-2 with an Edinburgh-Dundee freight train, a Class 5 4-6-0 with a Swansea-Shrewsbury passenger train and an 8F 2-8-0 with a Shrewsbury-Swansea freight train.
TR 114 working on the footplate
ZTR 115
DA 35
The Power of Steam

Nine-track compilation featuring The Waverley Route, The Lickey bank, Basingstoke, The West Highland line (Ardlui), Bargany (NCB line in Ayrshire) and Shap.

ZTR 115 the power of steam
TR 116
DA 37
Sounds of the Sea and Ships

Tracks include: On the sea shore: The soft sea of a summer afternoon; The angry sea of winter; The lighthouse sounds its warning in a sea mist. A foggy night in a busy port; Crossing the Mersey on board the SS Clang/ton. On board a steamship: In the engine room and on deck. On board ship: At sea in foul weather. Evening in harbour: The fishing boats leaving harbour at Whitby.

DA 37 sounds of the sea and ships 1965 front
TR 117
DA 39
The Great Western

Lineside recordings of Great Western locomotives at Hatton, Abergavenny, Chalford, Princes Risborough and Evershot.

TR 117 great western
ZTR 118
1967 ZDA 48 Trains to Remember

Recordings made during a night at Grantham Station, on the Scarborough-Whitby-Pickering line, on the Central Wales line, on the Lickey Incline, on the Stranraer-Ayr line and at Talerddig Station.

ZTR 118 trains to remember
ZTR 119
DA 49
Paris Express

Steam railways of the western division of the SNCF, the Northern division at Caffiers, the South Eastern region at Randan & St Germain-des-Fosses and South Western region at La Bourboule.   

Locomotives include G class pacifics, R class Mikados, P class 4-8-2s.

ZTR 119 paris express (french version)
TR 120
DA 78
London’s Last Trams

A documentary recording of the closing down (1950-52) of London’s Tramways. John Holmes (narrator) with the voices of Robert Mellish, J. Geoghegan, K. W. K. Edgley, A. Carr, E. Ling Cooper, and J.C. Hounsfield. Made by amateurs with the primitive tape equipment of the time.

TR 120 london's last trams
ZTR 121
DA 90 
ZDA 90
Echoes of Engines

Steam locomotives at work at Gresford, Montrose, Okehampton and on the Carlisle-Edinburgh line. Inside the signal box at Meldon Junction

TR 121 echoes of engines
TR 122
DA 106
Trains in Spain

Lineside recordings of 5ft 6in gauge steam locomotives at work on the Spanish Railways RENFE: a La Parrilla and near Fuente la Higuera; on the heavily graded Valencia-La Encina line; climbing near Vilavert on the Tarragona-Lerida line and at Castejon de Ebro, an important junction on the Zaragoza-Miranda de Ebro and Madrid-Pamplona lines.

TR 122 trains in spain
ZTR 123 1969 ZDA 109 Copper Capped Engines

Locomotives at work at Talerddig, Basingstoke, Llanvihangel, Princes Risborough, Gresford and Evershot Tunnel.

(see comments below)

ZTR 123 copper capped engines
TR 124 1969
DA 115
Vive La Vapeur

French Railways (SNCF) locomotives of various types at Breaute, Beuzeville, Argentan, St Germain des Fosses and Eygurande, plus a journey on a steeply graded line in the Auvergne.

TR 124 vive la vapeur
ZTR 125 1970 The Knotty

A musical documentary commemorating the old North Staffs Railway in verse and song.  Performed at the Victoria Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
ZTR 125 the knotty
ZTR 126 1970 The Railway to Riccarton

Recording of steam on the old ‘Waverley’ route in the spring of 1961.   The hard slog up to Whitrope is featured as is the approach to Riccarton. Some of the locos featured are: A3s, J36s, V2s,   Std Cl2 (78xxxx class), K3s, A1’s, J37’s

(thanks to Jonny Paul for back-to-front cover pic by Paul Riley, king of the telephoto lens, folk group roadie and all-round steam-chase nutter)

126 - riccarton
TR 127 1970? Charlotte Mitchell – Twelve Burnt Saucepans.

Sub-titled "A family year – seen through the haze -in verses written and read by Charlotte Mitchell"
ZTR 128 1971 Steam on the Lickey Incline

1959 recordings of locomotives of various types, working goods and passenger trains on the Lickey Incline, between Bromsgrove and Blackwell.

ZTR 128 steam on the lickey incline
ZTR 129 1971 Engines on the Bundesbahn

1970 recordings of locomotives, goods and passenger trains made in various locations  in West Germany.
ZTR 129 engines on the bundesbahn
TR 130 1971 Orient Express

18 separate steam locomotives featured on a typical journey on the Orient express from Yugoslavia to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. Recordings made on a number of journeys between 1965 and 1970.
TR 130 orient express
ZTR 131 1972 Trains in the Fifties

Late fifties recordings at work at Hitchin, Durham, Abergavenny, Beattock, Basingstoke and Llangunllo.

ZTR 131 trains in the fifties
ZTR 132 1971 The Greatest Cars in the World

The Rolls Royce Story & The Bentley Story

Narrated by Roger Snowdon

ZTR 132 the greatest cars in the world
TR 133 1972 Trains in Turkey 133 - TR trains in turkey
TR 134 1972 North of Kings Cross

Recordings of LNER steam locomotives at Kings Cross, Hitchin, Peterborough, Stoke Tunnel, Retford, Edinburgh and Whitrope.

ZTR 136 1973 New Zealand Steam Safari

Steam locomotives on the 3ft. 6in. gauge

ZTR 136 new zealand steam safari
ZTR 137 1973 Steam Over Switzerland

Recordings on the Vitznau-Rigi & Brienz-Rothorn rack railways, The Blonay-Chamby, the Bodensee-Toggenburg & the Winterthur-Romanshorn lines plus the paddle steamer on Lake Lucerne

ZTR 137 steam over switzerland
TR 138 1973 Engines in Germany

East German and West German Pacific locomotives and other types at work in West Germany. A companion record to ZTR 129, Engines on the Bundesbahn.
ZTR 139 1974 The Sounds of Bygone Transport

London Tram class E/3-Kingsway Subway. Paddle Steamer "Medway Queen". London Tram class E/3Route 33. London Bus LT type-Route 227. London Tram class E/3-Plough Change. Floating Bridge-Portsmouth Harbour. London Tram exWest Ham-Route 38. Portsmouth Corporation Buss-Route 38. The Mersey Railway. London Tram class E/3-Route 31. London Underground_ InnerCircle.

TR 140 Engines from Derby and Crewe

LMS type locomotives built in Derby or Crewe at work at different locations on British Railways. Recorded between 1955 and 1965.

TR 140 engines from derbay and crewe front 1
ZTR 141
1975 Westerns – Diesel Hydraulics on the Western Regionin 1974

Not a Transacord recording, but one made by Rob Woodward and Nigel Fletcher, the founding members of pop band Staveley Makepeace, who had a novelty No 1 hit for Argo parent company Decca as Lt Pigeon in 1972 – Mouldy Old Dough.

Their Argo recordings are available repackaged in CD format here.

Info courtesy Mark Jones, who’s got a book on Transacord due out in 2011.

141 - Westerns - not Transacord
ZTR 142 1975 Narrowboats

Originally released in 1969 by BBC Records (REB 56M)

ZTR 142 narrowboats
ZTR 143 1975 Railways Round the Clock

Compilation featuring Britannias, Stanier Black Vs’ in the early morning over Stranraer-Carlisle line, 8Fs, Fowler Tanks 2-6-4T, Coronations & Citys over Shap at dawn, GWR 28xx 2-8-0, Kings and Merchant Navys on Chester-Shrewsbury line, S & D country for 2Ps, Schools & Std Vs n the afternnon, plus Carlisle Settle in late evening with more Black Vs fighting the wind and gradient.
ZTR 143 railways round the clock
ZTR 144 1975 D-Day 

‘The Authentic Sounds of  D-Day’, recorded in June 1944.

ZTR 144 the auithentic sounds of d-day front
ZTR 145 1976 Deltics

Diesel electric locomotives on British Rail Eastern Region in 1975

Another Staveley-Makepeace recording, available as repackaged CD here.

145 - deltics front
ZTR 146 1977 Sounds of Historic Aeroplanes 146 - ztr146 sounds of historic aeroplanes front
ZTR 147 1975 Diesels in the Highlands

Another Staveley-Makepeace recording, featuring BRCW Class 26’s Sulzer Class 25’s, 40’s , 47’s and a 6 car DMU on the far north lines inc the Kyle line, the freight line from Aberdeen to Fraserborough and Carrbridge to Inverness. 

Available as repackaged CD here.

Thanks to Mark Jones for info.

147 - diesels in the highlands front
ZTR 148 1978 Steam in All Directions

Steam locomotives of various types, at work on railways in England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Italy, Romania and Yugoslavia.

ZTR 149 1978 Steam Through All Seasons

Steam locomotives at work at Barkston Junction, Llanvihangel, Princes Risborough, Bromsgrove, Knucklas and on the climb to Qhitrope Summit. Abroad, a Maffei Pacific in Romani a, a 2-8-0 in the Dolomites and a 2-10-0 in Germany.

ZTR 149 steam through all seasons

~ by folkcatalogue on April 27, 2010.

9 Responses to “TR (mono) & ZTR (stereo) Argo Transacord LP series”

  1. I am trying to find a copy of ZTR 113, DA 28, Rhythms of steam, on cd, do you think this is possible? thank you.

  2. I have an image of ZTR 126, The Railway to Riccarton. Send me an email if you would like it. I see it’s missing from your catalogue.

  3. Hi there – just wondering where you found the information about
    DA 115 Vive La Vapeur. In both Decca catalogues and 1969 LP trade release publications I have only managed to find documentation of the TR 124 issue, issued in 1969. If this is correct, then it would appear that Decca had already assigned (Z)TR numbers to the (Z)DA series in advance of the main reissue thrust in early 1970. I am very interested in any evidence for a DA issue as I am currently writing a book on Transacord! I can also fill some of the ZTR sequence gaps if you would care to get in touch with me! Meanwhile, thanks for a very informative website – it’s very nice to come across fellow discography buffs! Cheers!

    • Good question. Now you’ve got me confused. I think I got my information about the DA 115 release from the ‘alextrack’ website. See here. Needless to say, I haven’t seen the back cover of the Vive la Vapeur pic that’s up on the TR list post. The last (Z)DA Transacord release reviewed by the Gramophone was DA 109 Copper Capped Engines in October 1969. In the following month Vive la Vapeur was reviewed as TR 124. But Decca didn’t start deleting the DA railway series till early 1970. So yes, they did have the issue numbers assigned before 1970 (well, at least some of them). Sorry, this is probably not much help, but I guess that the three (Z)DA releases of 1969 – the two mentioned plus Trains in Spain – got caught up in the transition and were always planned to have only a limited shelf life as DAs before the reorganisation of railway LPs into the (Z)TR series.

      Cheers for the offer of gap-filling. I’ll email you.

  4. …just discovered another gap filler! ZTR 135 is Steam in Slovenia…cheers, Mark…

  5. Hi I have 2 records “this is york” SPA529 and “steam locomotion-rail 150″SPA439 can you tell me eneytingeles about them
    Tank you David

  6. I have a poor quality cover picture of ZTR 135 Steam in Slovenia taken from a recent auction on eBay which I can send you if you are interested.


  7. I have mint copies of the following which I am looking to sell, is anyone interested in the following:
    DA 31 – Working on the Footplate 33 rpm mono
    ZDA 48 – Trains to Remember 33 rpm stereo
    ZDA 21 – The Triumph of the A4 Pacific 33 rpm stereo
    DA 6 – The West Highland Line 33 rpm stereo
    ZDA 90 – Echoes of Engines 33 rpm stereo
    ZFA 77 – Pacific Power 45 rpm stereo
    EAF 72 – The 11.15 to Torpantau 45 rpm stereo
    EAF 33 – Gresely Pacifics 45 rpm stereo
    EAF 119 – The Sounds of Shunting 45 rpm stereo
    EAF 130 – This is York 45 rpm mono
    EAF 117 – Trains in Trouble 45 rpm stereo
    email me if so.,

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