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  • 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 companies need stiffer penalties

    The cattle have started mooing. The least surprising statistic of the year is the revelation by Transport Focus yesterday that rail passenger satisfaction has been falling faster than the pound after Brexit. To be fair to the railways, there have been some extenuating circumstances. In particular, the chaos on the biggest franchise –  Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern – has been going on for weeks with management incompetence exacerbated...

  • Rail 804: The Baikal Amur Mainline, a tragic white elephant

    I’ve just been on an amazing railway. It stretches across much of a whole and was built at the instigation of politicians who thought it would stimulate the economic development of a deprived region and bring vast riches to the nation as a whole. It was built to a high standard and cost a significant proportion of government spending for many years. You may think I was fantasising about...

  • Rail 803: Transport policy, what transport policy?

    Having written about transport policy for more than twenty years, it has become obvious to me that there isn’t one. Instead, policymakers keep on repeating the same mistakes, believing that transport is a secondary issue dependent on other aspects of the economy and government, and therefore unworthy of expending any great intellectual or political effort. This lack of any coherent strategy is the reason why railways have, over the...


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RT @RachelAldred Flemish study finds 'a good separated cycle path is the most important environmental factor for all participants' bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral…

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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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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.