The Railway Detective (Inspector Robert Colbeck) - Edward Marston
The author has a number of series of historical detective novels, with this volume being the first in one of those. Set in the 1850's, it delineates a time when the railways were just beginning to wield some influence over the way people lived their lives, as well as setting things up for the future.

Inspector Colbeck is sent to investigate the robbery of a train carrying gold coins from London to Birmingham - the driver has been terribly injured and the train itself derailed. Colbeck soon realises that the nature of the crime itself tells him much about the men who planned it and when he begins to get too close, the criminals take drastic action.

And it's here that The Railway Detective started to lose me... naturally, the train driver has a beautiful daughter who Colbeck is immediately smitten with and when her life is jeopardised by the criminals, Colbeck is like a man possessed. Personally, I found that whole side of the plot a little too much to swallow and so I won't be going on with this series, which continues in The Excursion Train.