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  • Debate with Richard Wellings on rail nationalisation

    Christian Wolmar Since 1994, when John Major began splitting up British Rail, the state-owned enterprise, into dozens of companies, Britain’s trains have been largely privately operated. But Network Rail, which manages the track on which they run, is in state hands. The decision to privatise the railways and the manner in which it was carried out have always been controversial, no more so than now, as more people are...

  • Rail 785: Who runs the railway?

    Well this is fun. We have just learnt that when the Department said it was pausing – rather than cancelling – the electrification of the Transpennine and Midland Main Line routes, it meant just that. The pause, announced in mid July, lasted barely two months and now, with a bit of lengthening of the programme, the schemes have been ‘unpaused’, a word which will now have to be added...

  • Rail 784: The modern railway should not be destroying its heritage

    At the National Rail Awards, Nigel Harris, my esteemed editor, made great play of the history of the railways, referring to both the Stockton & Darlington Railway, and the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, the two seminal railways. I have always stressed the importance of the latter over the Stockton & Darlington, which in my view was merely a more sophisticated version of the waggonways which had existed since the...

  • Rail 783: Renationalisation is a long term aspiration

    By the time you read this, we will know who is the new leader of the Labour party. Mystic Wolmar says it will be Jeremy Corbyn, the once 200 – 1 outsider but if Mystic was so good at predictions, how come he did not put a bet on then? However, even if it is not Corbyn, the issue of rail nationalisation is likely to exercise the Labour party...

  • Rail 782: Trouble at Euston … and on Virgin

    Now that HS2 is getting down to the nitty-gritty, the problems multiply and the decisions made far too early in the process are coming home to roost. One of my main complaints about the plan is that there is so little integration with the rest of the network and that the design is for the wrong sort of station. In particular, terminus stations are a bad idea. The clue...


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With Neil Warnock having a coffee before briefing the players #qprvlee pic.twitter.com/2KZla0U4hC

About 2 days 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...