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My Recent Writing

  • My (failed) application to be editor of the Evening Standard

    Dear Mr Lebedev   If you are looking for someone a bit left field, then I am your man: both because I am well connected in the Labour party and because I would be an unexpected but compelling choice. Your paper needs to better reflect London and for that you need a Labour-supporting editor, though a highly critical and well-informed one, ready to criticise and expose where necessary.  ...

  • Book review: Night Trains by Andrew Martin

      Night Trains, the Rise and Fall of the Sleeper by Andrew Martin, Profile Books, £14 99   As a child, I used to travel with my mother from London to Cannes, a journey that took a tad under 24 hours. The strangest part of the trip was the three or four hours in Paris where the train trundled between Gare du Nord and Gare de Lyon, along the...

  • Budget gives no thought to transport

    Philip Hammond’s knowledge of transport was well summed up at  my first meeting with him soon after he was appointed Transport Secretary in 2010. Annoyed at the number of level crossing around Egham in his constituency, he asked me ‘why can’t the trains, which are often just carrying a few people, wait for the cars rather than the other way round?’  I spluttered to explain about signalling, timetabling and...

  • Rail 820: Franchising is the problem, not the solution

    In this post-truth age, there are not just the alternative facts put out by the White House. There are also the bits of conventional wisdom that are seen as so obvious and axiomatic that no one would wish to challenge them. That, in short, is the problem with the Commons Transport Committee Report on franchising which has just been published. In a way, as a long time critic of...

  • Rail 819: Franchise future in doubt

    It is some time since I discussed my oft asked and never answered question of ‘what is franchising for?’ The peg, of course, is that yet another foreign state-owned company has entered the market with the takeover of the C2C franchise (first task, change the silly name) by Trenitalia from National Express. There’s two significant aspects of this. First, that an Italian company now joins French, German and Dutch...


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My comment on Lord Carlile's daft suggestion that cycle lane helped Westminster attack picked up in cycling media cyclingtips.com/news/british-…

About 3 hours ago

About Christian Wolmar

Christian Wolmar is an award winning writer and broadcaster specialising in transport and is the author of a series of books on railway history. In the autumn of 2012, he announced he is seeking the Labour candidacy for the 2016 London mayoral election. Read more >>.


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Wolmar\'s Railway Library

This is a collection of classic railway history books which I have selected for reprint and which you can buy in either e-form or as special editions.

Online Column: Christian Says...