The authoritative and fascinating history of the rise and fall of the state-owned British Rail
‘Wolmar’s book is impeccably organised and makes a fast, enjoyable read’ THE TIMES Literary Supplement________
British Rail wasn’t how we’re asked to remember it . . .
From ancient rolling stock to patchy service, stale sandwiches to the wrong kind of snow, British Rail – our last great state-owned organisation to be privatised – has received a terrible press.
But after its controversial 1948 creation, British Rail was actually an innovative powerhouse that over five decades transformed the UK, creating one of the fastest regular rail services in the world.
Award-winning journalist Christian Wolmar takes us from promise to punchline, exploring British Rail’s birth into post-war austerity, the many battles and struggles to evolve what many considered to be a dinosaur, and how, at the height of its success, the service was misunderstood and unfairly maligned, ruthlessly broken up and privatised._______
Praise for Christian Wolmar
‘Wolmar is the high priest of railway studies’ Literary Review
‘The greatest expert on British trains’ Guardian
‘Our most eminent transport journalist’ Spectator
‘If the world’s railways have a laureate, it is surely Christian Wolmar’ Boston Globe
‘Christian Wolmar is in love with the railways. He writes constantly and passionately about them. He is their wisest, most detailed historian and a constant prophet of their rebirth . . . if you love the hum of the wheels and of history, then Christian Wolmar is your man‘ Observer