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  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Letter to The Times: Lack of resilience of today’s railway

    Sir. The collapse of the train services out of King’s Cross and Paddington after the announcement that the Hitachi trains needed to have safety checks shows the lack of resilience in today’s railway (“Rail operators ordered to end chaos caused by train cracks”, May 10). Despite the fact that only a limited timetable is being run because of the pandemic, and a few spare train sets are available, most...

  • Rail 930: Let’s stop pretending you can impose capitalism on the railways

    We are entering a period of Big Government. Indeed, we have been in one for the past year. Neoliberalism is dead, long live neo Keynesianism or Modern Monetary Theory (basically the notion that governments can just keep on printing money until inflation starts to rise). Well hopefully, but changing an economic orthodoxy will require more than wishful thinking. It will need a clear setting out of the alternatives. Neoliberalism,...

  • Rail 929: WISPer it, the 30 year plan for the railways

    Just in case there were not enough ‘initiatives’ being launched by his department,  Grant Shapps, the transport secretary decided a couple of months ago that there was room for one more. This is a major effort, called WISP, the Whole Industry Strategy Plan, which has begun work with no announcement and indeed with a requirement from those partaking not to mention its existence publicly. While it is definitely Shapps’...


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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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Omigod...@BBCNews leads on a clearly set up a confrontation with a bbc reporter on board a ship in Ukranian/Russian waters....insane and obviously govt propaganda to take attention away from Covid etc

About 54 minutes ago

Online Column: Christian Says...