My Recent Writing
By trying to do the impossible, the railways are on a suicide mission. Trying to enforce social distancing while running a train service is simply impossible. Traditionally, railway safety has been determined by a concept called ALARP – risks should be as low as reasonably practical. Somehow, the word ‘reasonably’ has been lost in the railways’ frenzied rush to comply with the rather arbitrary requirements suggested by government who...
Apologies for slight lateness, but I have just delivered the manuscript of my latest book, Cathedrals of Steam, the story of London’s terminus stations. It is quite a tale given that London has twice the number of terminus stations than any other city, a round dozen the names of which you can try to work out to help you get to sleep tonight. It is, of course, the result...
We are now in the new normal of empty train stations, reduced timetables and injunctions to people not to take the train. As Captain Oates might have said ’We may be here some time’. The discussions over what world we will return to are only just beginning and there is some reluctance by government ministers to even engage on the issue through fears that this will encourage people to...
There is, perversely, something heartening about the atmosphere on the streets today. Kids are pedalling away behind their parents while drivers considerately slow down behind them. The reduction in traffic has dramatically cut pollution and pedestrians and joggers now outnumber cars. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that this presages a brighter future, with a more rational balance between transport and the environment. Indeed, the...
As a journalist for nigh on half a century, who has covered all kinds of extraordinary stories, big and small, I can quite easily say there has been nothing like this. When I pop out for my daily jog or occasional forays into shops, I keep on having to pinch myself that I have not suddenly woken up in a John Wyndham novel. I almost expect to see triffids...
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. He was Labour's candidate for the 2016 Richmond Park & North Kingston by-election and also ran to be Labour's candidate in the last London mayoral election. Read more >>
• Crossrail at Basingstoke on Wednesday, June 10 2020
• Railways and the Raj at Shenfield on Monday, June 15 2020