The author sets the scene for the book in his introduction: "Following on from Ayrshire Traction and Strathclyde Traction, Scottish Traction covers the Scottish rail scene from 1974 until the present day. A lot has changed since the 1970s, with electrification slowly but surely expanding throughout the region. This book covers diesel locos from the humble Class 08s to Class 92s. On the DMU side I have covered classes 101 to 185s and EMUs covered are from Class 303 to 390s. On the electric loco side, classes 91 to 92 are covered. The AC electric loco fleets are not among the most popular to have operated over Scottish routes, but like some of their contemporary diesel classes, they have played a major role in the modernisation of the rails system in Scotland."
The remainder of the introduction comprises six pages telling the story of Scottish traction over the past four decades in some detail. We then move on to the author's photographs of trains in Scotland, taken over the same period. Trains nearly always look their best when photographed from a front three-quarters angle, and almost all of those in this collection take that view. The photographs are published in roughly chronological order over the period, and the first few are in black and white, while the rest are in colour.
We like trains, but would have to admit that we'd sometimes have difficulty telling the difference between one class and another. The photographs are therefore very helpful in giving life to the story told in the introduction. Having said that, while many of Amberley's railway books have fairly extensive captions, often telling you what you are looking at and also setting it in a wider context, those in Scottish Traction tend to be rather sparser, often without the wider context. On the other hand, they do always tell you what you are looking at, and where, and when the photograph was taken, which is the essential information. The result is an excellent overview for the enthusiast that makes available a collection of photographs that help understand the way Scotland's railways have changed over the past 40 years.