My Recent Writing
It’s been ten years since a young student called Mike, who had an interest in my work and was producing an online magazine on London’s transport, contacted me. He suggested I should have a website, but I was reluctant. What would I need a website for, I had plenty of business anyway and it would cost. No, he said, he would put all the material on for free as he...
I am often asked about Maglev and whether it is the technology of the future. So it was fascinating to travel on the maglev between Shanghai and Pudong Airport, to find out more about it. The line which yesterday celebrated its 10th anniversary, is not a great success. The 19 mile line cost $1.3bn to build and has never recouped any of its capital costs, just about covering its...
One of the unfathomable complexities of the rail system for passengers is the compensation scheme for delays. Many people are unaware of it or have not idea how to claim, or whether they are eligible. The TSSA has sought to highlight the train operators’s failing in this respect by annually pointing out that the train operators profit from the imbalance in the compensation system between the money they receive...
‘We are like Millwall – the rest of the industry all hates us’, said John Smith, the managing director of GB Railfreight, as we head back to London after a tour of Felixstowe docks. Indeed freight is the Cinderella of the industry and the tremendous success of the passenger side ironically puts added pressure on the freight carriers. Smith, a career railwayman, who clearly enjoys every minute of his...
In passenger surveys, one of the biggest complaints is over the handling of delays. It is not so much the delay itself that aggravates passengers, but the confused response and, in particular, the lack of up to date information. Indeed, one of the commonest refrains is that ‘there is more information on Twitter than the staff seemed to have’. I have been rather lucky when it comes to rail...
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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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