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  • The Great British Train Wreck

    Let the train take the strain”, exhorted British Rail’s famous slogan in the 1970s. More than 40 years later we are being urged to do the opposite. The railway operators and the government are united in trying to persuade people not to use the railways, suggesting “only travel by train if you have no other alternative”. This campaign has been successful in cutting usage, which, even after a slight...

  • Rail 906: The railways must stop telling people not to use them

    Whatever happened to ALARP? That’s the safety principle by which the railway is supposed to function in relation to safety. It stands for As Low As Reasonably Possible but somehow the R has been forgotten. That is the only possible explanation for what is happening to the industry at the moment. And I do not say this lightly, but the railways face an existential threat by failing to plot...

  • By acquiescing to impossible rules, the railways are killing themselves

    By trying to do the impossible, the railways are on a suicide mission. Trying to enforce social distancing while running a train service is simply impossible. Traditionally, railway safety has been determined by a concept called ALARP – risks should be as low as reasonably practical. Somehow, the word ‘reasonably’ has been lost in the railways’ frenzied rush to comply with the rather arbitrary requirements suggested by government who...

  • May newsletter – one thing is certain: driverless cars are not the answer

    Apologies for slight lateness, but I have just delivered the manuscript of my latest book, Cathedrals of Steam, the story of London’s terminus stations. It is quite a tale given that London has twice the number of terminus stations than any other city, a round dozen the names of which you can try to work out to help you get to sleep tonight. It is, of course, the result...

  • Rail 905: Risk assessment is key to future of the railways

      Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation on Sunday May 10th was rambly, incoherent and he failed dismally in his attempts to sound Churchillian.  However, while there are several parts I disagree with, there is a core message that we all have to accept and work through. Johnson in his incoherent way was trying to set out the beginnings of a route map out of the lockdown. By changing...


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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. He was Labour's candidate for the 2016 Richmond Park & North Kingston by-election and also ran to be Labour's candidate in the last London mayoral election. Read more >>

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Excellent initiative by Greenpeace greenpeace.org.uk/news/city-c…

About 4 hours ago