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  • Rail 810: That hungry feeling – travel on a long distance train

    I decided to test the competing claims of the East and West Coast line services between London and Scotland in a recent trip to Glasgow to give a lecture. ‘Competing’, perhaps, may be the wrong word as oddly both are now run by Virgin, albeit through different companies with contrasting ownership patterns. West Coast is 51 per cent owned by Richard Branson’s outfit with the rest belonging to Stagecoach...

  • 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...

  • Rail 809: Grayling looks to blue skies

    What goes round comes round. Here we go again, with a discussion about vertical integration, the structure of the railways and the pros and cons of privatisation. This not my fault, though I do enjoy the debate, but is a result of the malfunctioning Southern contract and the arrival of Chris Grayling at the Department for Transport. As I mentioned in my previous column, Grayling has a track record...

  • Rail 808: Driverless cars going nowhere soon

    Suddenly the driverless car seems like becoming a reality in the very near future. Hardly a day passes without news of new developments. In the middle week of August, for example, we heard on successive days that Ford was promising to develop a car with no steering wheel or any user activated controls for the mass market  by 2020 and that , Uber, the world’s biggest taxi company, said...

  • 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...


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I will be speaking tomorrow on my American rail history book at the URC church just by East Croydon station 7 30pm and signing books

About 6 hours 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.