The authoritative and fascinating history of the rise and fall of the state-owned British Rail
‘Wolmar’s book is impeccably organized and makes a fast, enjoyable read’ THE TIMES Literary Supplement
You think you know British Rail. But you don’t know the whole story.
From its creation after the Second World War, through its fifty-year lifetime, British Rail was an innovative powerhouse that transformed our transport system. Uniting disparate lines into a highly competent organisation – heralding ‘The Age of the Train’ – and, for a time, providing one of the fastest regular rail services in the world.
Born into post-war austerity, traumatised, impoverished and exploited by a hostile press, the state-owned railway was dismissed as a dinosaur unable to evolve, and swept away by a government hellbent on selling it off.
Now, award-winning writer Christian Wolmar provides a new perspective on national loss in a time of privatisation.
British Rail is ripe for a new history.
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
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