My Recent Writing
Christian Wolmar Since 1994, when John Major began splitting up British Rail, the state-owned enterprise, into dozens of companies, Britain’s trains have been largely privately operated. But Network Rail, which manages the track on which they run, is in state hands. The decision to privatise the railways and the manner in which it was carried out have always been controversial, no more so than now, as more people are...
On September 6, the most remarkable reopening of a Beeching closed line will take place. The 30 mile long Borders Railway will be opened by non other than the Queen, marking a key point in railway history as it will give succour to campaigners around the country battling to restore lines. They will be heartened, too, by an analysis of reopenings which shows that passenger numbers have often greatly...
Over the last three years as a potential mayoral candidate for the 2016 London mayoral election, I have not been short of been offered briefings from various groups seeking to impress me that they offer the solution to London’s future. Subjects have included everything from how to democratise football and turning London into a National Park to what to do about improving a particular town centre (prizes for anyone...
Since the announcement of the Network Rail debacle, I have heard both Mark Carne, the current chief executive, and John Armitt, the one time chairman, sing from the same hymn sheet. It goes something like this: Network Rail has hundreds of projects on the go at any time and one or two are bound to mess up, and it is those that attract media attention. In fact, the argument...
It is impossible to exaggerate the extent to which the Network Rail fiasco is a setback for the rail industry. All the ducks were in perfect alignment with the industry getting support from all the main political parties and blessed with more money than Croesus. But somehow the gun misfired and the ducks are now wandering off with desperate Network Rail managers trying to catch them. Everyone in the...
See my mayoral campaign - Wolmar for London.
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New post: Review of Simon Bradley's The Railways, Nation, Network and People christianwolmar.co.uk/2015/09…
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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