British Rail: A New History

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British Rail: A New History

British Rail: A New History

RRP: £30.00
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£15 FREE Shipping

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This would have been a 5 stars of it wasn't for the needless inclusion of comments about Boris Johnson in it (who I don't particularly like either) - seemed to be rammed in rather than having much to do with the topic of the book. The book is superbly structured and written with passion and lucidity; perfect for a long train journey. Still it was out of this post-Beeching period that the popular support for the railways grew and closure proposals became a lot more difficult and faced greater challenges.

While he does not spell it out directly here, Wolmar shows that the problem with the railway in Britain has always been a lack of serious and positive state engagement from the start. The second half of the book demonstrates that the newly branded “British Rail” had a renewed outlook on its public service duties.

This history lesson is complemented by two picture sections that show the evolution of logos, national marketing, and staff uniforms. 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. Some of the most well-known chairpersons, in particular Peter Parker and Robert Reid, confidently reorganized and restructured British Rail. The book is a trenchant defence of the concept of keeping large-scale transport service organisations in the hands of the state and also a defence of the many much-maligned dedicated BR staff who kept the organisation. Ultimately, Wolmar contends that British Rail’s downfall was a result not of managers but of politicians.

A signed paperback copy of British Rail: A new history - published by Penguin is Christian Wolmar's latest book and an account of the 50-year history of the organisation, both good and bad. His book, however, is hardly an advertisement for nationalisation, even if one accepts the need for state subsidy to keep the trains running. Saddening too that the dogma of privatisation destroyed what could have become an extremely beneficial and cheaper railway… or, if not cheaper, a much better, more widely accessible railway. From 1923 all the way to the 21st Century, the author details the rise and fall of British Rail, showing the major financial struggles, changes in leadership and the attitudes of both government and the population at large. Two things dominated the public image of British Rail: curly-ended stale sandwiches and the “wrong kind of snow”.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.

What Wolmar does communicate very effectively is the supreme difficulty of running a railway, with its huge fixed assets, astronomical overheads and susceptibility to changes in government, technology, the energy market and the natural environment.A worthy scholarly work that sometimes it feels like British Rail telling its story in its own words.

Finance is provided by PayPal Credit (a trading name of PayPal UK Ltd, Whittaker House, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond-Upon-Thames, Surrey, United Kingdom, TW9 1EH). The rushed sell-off that ensued dismantled an organisation that had, after half a century of existence, created a workable structure that had delivered a much improved service. Important events like the 1923 Amalgamation, when the majority of railway businesses joined the GWR, LMSR, or LNER, as well as nationalization and privatization, are placed in their historical perspective. And after eight minutes of wild ascent, she was on orbit, crunched up with her two crewmates in a tiny spaceship that took them to the International Space Station.In his Great British Railway Journeys, now thirteen series old, he travels across the country in airy, noiseless carriages, with no hint of points failures, leaves on the line or cable theft, let alone industrial action. Wolmar explains clearly how from the 1970s this new breed of manager worked to change the century old methods of operation and management, tackled employment and industrial relations and took on the state. The descriptions can be wordy and technical at times, but if you’re a regular user of trains for commuting or general travel throughout the UK, the book is a must-read. For two decades after the war, BR persisted with expensive, polluting and labour-intensive steam locomotives, not wishing to go to war with the trade unions in either the rail or coal sectors. We are able to send untracked parcels to bona fide PO Box addresses, friends and family members and to work addresses.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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