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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 822: Change is not necessarily the right answer

    Chris Burchell’s theme for his lecture at the annual George Bradshaw Address, the most prestigious railway speech of the year, was that as we live in a rapidly changing society, then railways, accordingly, have to adapt constantly. He argued that we are in the midst of a technological revolution as earth shattering as the first industrial revolution. ‘Railways have no right to exist in perpetuity’ he stressed, and that...

  • Rail 821: Bombardier’s survival was the right kind of politics

      There was a moment five years ago when it seemed the UK might end up without any domestic train manufacturing company. The Bombardier plant in Derby, the sole survivor, had just suffered a near mortal blow when the contract for new Thameslink trains was given to the German company Siemens, with no requirement to manufacture anything in the UK. The decision over such a big contract, which encompassed...


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Cycle use up but it could be so much more if there were a proper cycling strategy to get more people on their bikes bikebiz.com/news/read/cycl…


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...