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  • Letter to The Times: HS2 review must look at fundamental questions

    It is excellent news that the HS2 scheme is finally being subjected to a thorough analysis, including an examination of alternatives. However, the review must consider the scheme in the widest possible context rather than just rehearsing narrow arguments about cost. In particular, the only environmental appraisal, setting out the effect of HS2  on greenhouse gas emissions, was produced nearly  a decade ago and was inconclusive. Surely, given the...

  • Rail 884: Williams is wrong to shun Network Rail

    Now comes the hard bit. Does Keith Williams know what he is doing? I am not asking that in a critical way but rather as a genuine question expressed in a supportive context. After all, the poor man has been set an impossible task and he must feel that he is in one of those Escher drawings that seem to suggest a set of stairs that has no beginning...

  • Rail 883: Things are getting better – really!

    Things are getting better. No, really, they are. The railways have largely been out of the news lately, apart from the awful death of two trackworkers (see other article), with the timetable change in May passing off smoothly. Now there is independent confirmation from the regular Transport Focus passenger survey that the perception of the railway is at last getting better. Indeed, the picture painted by the survey, published...

  • The electric car conundrum

    Electric cars are not a new invention. When I was growing up in west London in the 1960s, Harrods delivered its wares in a silent electric van while in contrast the cart belonging to Sam, the elderly milkman, was hauled up the hill where I lived by a huge horse which I invariably rewarded with a sugar lump. That story illustrates just how slowly modes of transport change and...

  • Rail 882: It’s not only cuckoo clocks that the Swiss have got right

    We are prisoners of history but we don’t have to be. When writing my various books on the history of the railways, it is always noticeable the extent to which the development of the railways in Britain was different than in the rest of Europe. In this country, the railways were built in haphazard way with no overall plan. The British railway network was created through a process of...

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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. 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 >>

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