British Rail: A New History

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British Rail: A New History

British Rail: A New History

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By the 1990s, Wolmar argues that British Rail was an excellent industry, one that “did not deserve the fate it suffered” throughout the privatization process (329), and that it was government intervention that slowed British Rail’s development toward the end of its life. Of course this is important, but it is given too much detail sometimes, where some of the niceties of the experience of being a rail traveller in the BR period could have had more coverage. Certainly not the one engineered by George Stephenson as one of the first was that laid down at Wollaton, near Nottingham, open by 1610, long before Stephenson's birth in 1781. Wolmar is the high priest of railway studies and it is to his credit that he sets aside his own convictions to offer a delays-and-all perspective.

Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves. Your personal information will be properly safeguarded and processed in accordance with the requirements of privacy and data protection legislation. For instance, the engineering drawings for a sophisticated artificial leg, which are going to be manufactured at the Crewe locomotive works for issue to injured employees, are featured on the first spread, and on the following page, the architectural sketches for a church in Crewe, which was paid for by LNWR to serve the local community of railway workers, are featured. The unified integrated structure was split into more than 100 sections, governed by a system which was far more expensive to operate and ultimately proved unworkable. He has been described as "our most eminent transport journalist" by The Spectator and "the greatest expert on British trains" by The Guardian.British Rail was the last big state run company to be privatised and as the author states Mrs Thatcher was reluctant to be responsible as she knew that most people had a strong attachment to it. It's not that the railway management itself was without faults - particularly in the way that the old regions, reflecting the four private companies that were taken over, tried to still do things their own way. Whether it was Beeching's total mishandling of the necessary pruning of some of the oddities and low usage branch lines left over from Victorian railway expansion, removing many valuable connections and stations, the inability to properly account for the need to subsidise some lines for the public good, or a lack of recognition of good management practice where it was brought into play, successive governments, both Conservative and Labour, have proved totally incapable of understanding the country's rail needs - while the Treasury has resisted every sensible investment to improve the railways from day one. As Wolmar notes that the railways recovered owes much to the deviousness and scheming of railway managers who were not beyond pulling a fast one while the Treasury was distracted, the story of the West Coast electrification programme (which essentially turned around British Rails fortunes) being a case in point. We are able to send untracked parcels to bona fide PO Box addresses, friends and family members and to work addresses.

From the disappointment of rail closures all the way to the peak of operating efficiency it’s a very comprehensive chronicle that explains all the major events, key players and societal shifts across the decades. There is a short selling up of the events of privatisation showing it reflects badly on the final incarnation of British Rail.However, the book teaches us history of BR by giving us short stories about a railway in a certain time period. By privatization in the 1990s, British Rail was operating a successful nationalized industry that was sensitive to both service quality and profit, and the process of privatization was ultimately forced upon British Rail without reason or sense. Colin Maggs also ventures his views on where Britain's railways will go in the future, including HS2 and beyond. The “victim of its history” argument is certainly a clear and powerful one that pulls together the essence of what many railway studies scholars have been. One of the strengths of this book is its concentration on those responsible for the day to day management of the railway network and their relationship with the various parts of central government.

There is a fantastic introductory history to Britain’s nationalized railway here, one that is inclusive of managerial and technological detail, in particular as Wolmar regularly explains complex technical terminology for non-railway oriented readers, such as the railway “bogie” (160) and the “pantograph” (170), terms familiar to railway savvy readers but not necessarily to everyone else. YES: British Rail is quite compact at less than 400 pages (excluding the bibliography and references), but it packs in a ton of detail from a wide array of sources and topics. Come down the travelators, exit Sainsbury's, turn right and follow the pedestrianised walkway to Crown Walk and turn right - and Coles will be right in front of you.

This book works very well at offering just enough material to let the reader know what advances or differences there were but also making sure the reader understands how these railways fit within the larger picture, which county rails used what and for what reason. The advertising was definitely one of the success of the company, even the 'Let the train take the strain' slogan is commonly mentioned in conversations too! If you are already well familiar with the history of British rail, this book will do little to enhance or challenge your understanding. This opened the way for managers like Chris Green who achieved legendary and cult status amongst many rail enthusiasts with his skilful branding and revolutionary approach to revitalising the networks which came under his control. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item.



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