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  • Time to ban toilet paper

    What is the most disgusting thing you did today? The most likely answer is that you wiped your bum with tissue paper. The paper in loos nowadays may be softer than the Izal which caused many a haemorrhoid for older generations but it is still singularly ill-suited to its task. Whoopee Goldberg, the American actress, is wont to go into great detail – far too great actually – about...

  • Nationalise the Thameslink Southern franchise!

    Everyone hates Govia, the train company responsible for the strike-ridden Southern rail services. Passengers are at their wits’ end because of delays and cancellations, staff have been alienated by intransigent management and ministers are aghast as even right-wing Tory MPs tell  them to remove the contract. Actually, it is possible to feel sympathy for the embattled  company. The unions say, with much justification, that the dispute over the change...

  • RMT disputes are not a return to the 1970s

    It’s all happening on the railways. A five day strike on Southern rail services, a walkout over a 2008 agreement at Eurostar and Virgin East Coast also set to be affected by strike action. Sounds like the good – or rather bad – old days of the 1970s when strikes and work to rule protests backed by picket lines went hand in hand with Daily Mail warnings of “the...

  • Rail 807: Who is to blame for the Southern dispute?

    It is all too easy to put all the blame on the unions for the disastrous strike on Southern which, as I write, is hitting commuters where it hurts – in their precious tight schedules that have already suffered over the past few weeks as Southern services have collapsed. However, there is more than meets the eye in this row. Sure, the unions can be exasperating  and the RMT’s...

  • Rail 806: The lost hope of integrated transport

    Newcastle both gave us the railway and has become utterly dependent on it. The site of Robert Stephenson’s works where the Rocket was built can be seen from Platform 7 of the station and there is a whole section of the town now called the Stephenson quarter in honour of Robert and his father George. The frequent service to London, just three hours away on a fast train, is,...


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The Spectator likes my new Are Trams Socialist book except for the bit about trams....spectator.co.uk/2016/09/the-s…

About a day ago

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.