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  • Driverless deathtraps

    It was exactly the sort of accident that was supposed never to happen. This was a ‘safe’ self-driving car, armed with a battery of sensors and automatic brakes for just such an emergency. The speeding Uber taxi didn’t even brake before mowing down Elaine Herzberg last weekend. If the crash was a catastrophe for the victim and her family, it is disastrous, too, for the billion-dollar proponents of the...

  • Rail 849: Another potential rail scandal as short-termism wins out again

    When Peter Hendy, the chairman of Network Rail, produced his review into railway overspending two years ago, he blithely recommended that the company could generate £1.8bn by disposing of non-railway assets. At the time, I wrote that this was a bit of smoke and mirrors since by selling off assets that were earning a rate of return, it would be simply foregoing a future revenue stream in return for...

  • Rail 848: The scams that cost the railway dear

    One of the great mysteries of the current structure of the railways is why does every piece of work, whether undertaken by train operators, Network Rail or the engineering companies cost so much. Network Rail quotes for schemes are sometimes a factor of ten more than might be expected and even the most minor routine job seems to be far higher than comparable work in other industries. Of course,...

  • Opposing Brexit will lose us some votes, but gain us many more

      This is urgent. Labour must embrace staying in the single market and the customs union or face haemorrhaging members and taking a battering at the polls. That message is coming through both from members and supporters. We are stuck at 40 per cent in the polls because of the failure to take a position on Europe which many of the 48 per cent are willing us to do....

  • Rail 847: Get the Department out of the rail business

    With Labour trying to work out its plans for renationalisation and the current system in a state of uncertainty given the problems with franchising and Network Rail’s addiction to overspending and the loss of its chief executive, there is currently much debate about the structure of the railways. Leaving aside the pros and cons of nationalisation which are the subject of furious debate, there is one point on which...


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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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  • Railways and the Raj at Newmarket on Thursday, July 5 2018

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My Ted-ed short film on the origins of the London Underground is now online it-film.com/v-video-VdZd5z…

About 12 hours ago

Online Column: Christian Says...