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My Recent Writing

  • Letter to the Guardian: active oldies

    My very smug letter to the Guardian in response to one accusing us oldies of sitting on our butts all day long: Over-70s leading a locked-down life (Letters, 7 June)? Ha. After finishing writing my book on British Railways last week, on Sunday I ran 10km on Hampstead Heath (66 mins), cycled to Paddington, then seven hilly miles from Charlbury to Great Tew to keep wicket for the Rain...

  • Rail 932: Great? New plan for railways falls short

    If you want to understand the intentions behind the Government’s White Paper heralding the arrival of Great British Railways, look no further than its authors. We all know that the Paper came out of the Williams Review but that is now an irrelevance. It has been through radical changes, many instigated by the Treasury but then taken over by the ever-ambitious transport secretary Grant Shapps who ensured he would...

  • The Great British Railway is a fudge riding for a fail

    We all knew it was a mistake and we told them so. When the Tory government pushed through the privatisation of the railways a quarter of a century ago, it involved splitting up British Rail into more than 100 companies. At the time, everyone, from Tory backbenchers and the Labour party to British Rail managers, warned that it was a reckless plan that would cost money and do nothing...

  • Rail 931: British government should participate in the Eurostar rescue

    When people suggest to me that it would be best if politics were left out of the railways, I always point out that the two are joined at the hip. You only have to read my books on railway history to realise that throughout the near two century long existence of the railways, there has never been a time when they have been free of political interference. Nevertheless, even...

  • Railcard scam is nothing short of theft by the state

    Last week, buying a ticket for my first rail journey in six months, I said to the kindly ticket clerk, ‘I presume that my Senior Railcard will have been extended since I have been barred from using the railway since December?’  The poor woman almost blushed: ‘I’m afraid not. You will have to buy a new one. You are not the first — and you should complain.’ Indeed. There...

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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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