Join thousands of book lovers
You can, at any time, unsubscribe from our newsletters.
Pre-order the authoritative and enthralling history of of the rise and fall of the state-owned British Rail. You think you know British Rail.From the sandwiches to the inefficiency to the violent yellow livery, we haven't looked kindly on this, the last of our great state-owned organizations to be privatized.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 organization - 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, traumatized, 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 privatization. British Rail is ripe for a new history.Praise for Christian WolmarThe greatest expert on British trains' - The Guardian'Our most eminent transport journalist' - The 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
A concise, authoritative and fast-paced telling of how the railways changed the world.
The epic story of London's major railway stations, by Britain's bestselling transport historian.
The story of an engineering marvel of the modern age, from Britain's leading writer on the railways and their history.
The epic story of the British construction of the railways in India, as told by Britain's bestselling transport historian.
A Christmas paperback with tremendous sales potential. Engines of War tells the dramatic story of how the birth of the railways shaped how wars were fought and won, facilitating conflict on a previously unimaginable scale.
Christian Wolmar's biggest paperback yet. Blood, Iron and Gold tells the dramatic story of the people and events that shaped the world's railways and how the railways changed the world. 'Full of wondrous curiosities... This authoritative and highly readable book will remain the definitive history for years to come.' Michael Williams, Daily Telegraph
Since the Victorian era, London's Underground has had played a vital role in the daily life of generations of Londoners. In The Subterranean Railway, Christian Wolmar celebrates the vision and determination of the nineteenth-century pioneers who made the world's first, and still the largest, underground passenger railway: one of the most impressive engineering achievements in history. From the early days of steam to electrification, via the Underground's contribution to twentieth-century industrial design and its role during two world wars, the story comes right up to the present with its sleek, driverless trains and the wrangles over the future of the system. The Subterranean Railway reveals London's hidden wonder in all its glory and shows how the railway beneath the streets helped create the city we know today.
Transport is key to our daily lives. The transport system is essential to ensure the movement of people and goods, and most of us will use the roads or public transport every day. Vast sums are tied up in it and are spent on trying to resolve the problems of congestion and delays. And yet it is a most neglected field of politics. Britain has never had a coherent transport policy. Transport ministers are regarded as minnows compared with their 'big beast' colleagues in other ministries. Successive governments have barely attempted to get to grips with the challenge of getting people around efficiently and safely while limiting the environmental damage caused by transport. In this entertaining polemic, Christian Wolmar, an author and journalist who has written about transport for over two decades, explains why politicians have not addressed the crucial issue of balancing transport needs with environmental considerations. Instead, they have been seduced by the popularity of the car and pressure from the car lobby, and they have been sidetracked by dogma. Solutions are at hand - and successful examples can be seen elsewhere in Europe - but courage and clear thinking are needed if they are to be implemented.
The epic story of the world's longest and greatest railway, as told by Britain's bestselling transport historian.
The first new and comprehensive narrative history of the American railroads in a generation. 'Shrewd, articulate and incredibly well-informed' - Miranda Seymour, Daily Telegraph
Now in paperback, Fire and Steam tells the dramatic story of the people and events that shaped the world's first railway network, one of the most impressive engineering achievements in history: 'Christian Wolmar brings the era of railway mania alive: both the imagination and the daring that made it possible.' David Dimbleby
Wolmar's entertaining polemic sets out the many technical, legal and moral problems that obstruct the path to a driverless future, and debunks many of the myths around that future's purported benefits.
Driverless cars are being hyped strongly by industry and government as an inevitable feature of our (near) future transport options. This book argues that they will not be - as the technical, ethical and environmental difficulties are too great. Autonomous vehicles are also the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
A fascinating journey through the history of railwaysFrom the early steam trains to the high-speed bullet trains of today, The Iron Road tells the hidden stories of railway history- the inspired engineering, blood, sweat and tears that went into the construction of the railways.Uncover the compelling tales of bold vision, invention and error, and social change behind the history of trains and railways, with famous railways such as the Transsiberian fully explored. Learn how the great railway pioneers such as George Stephenson produced the ideas and feats of engineering that created the railways and changed the world. Each exciting moment of railway history is captured, contextualised and enhanced by superb illustrations. Trains and railways of the past like the romantic Orient Express are brought to life through amazing eyewitness accounts, allowing you to see the railways through the eyes of people who were there at the time.Written by Christian Wolmar, an award-winning writer and broadcaster, The Iron Road is an exciting trip through the history of trains for any railway enthusiast.
Christian Wolmar expertly tells the story of the Trans-Siberian railway from its conception and construction under Tsar Alexander III, to the northern extension ordered by Brezhnev and its current success as a vital artery. He also explores the crucial role the line played in both the Russian Civil War -Trotsky famously used an armoured carriage as his command post - and the Second World War, during which the railway saved the country from certain defeat. Like the author's previous railway histories, it focuses on the personalities, as well as the political and economic events, that lay behind one of the most extraordinary engineering triumphs of the nineteenth century.
The birth of the railways and their rapid spread across the world triggered economic growth and social change on an unprecedented scale. From Panama to the Punjab, Tasmania to Turin, Blood, Iron and Gold describes the vision and determination of the pioneers who developed railways that would link cities that had hitherto been isolated, and would one day span continents. Christian Wolmar reveals how the rise of the train stimulated daring feats of engineering, architectural innovation and the rapid movement of people and goods around the world. He shows how cultures were enriched - and destroyed - by the unrelenting construction and how the railways played a vital role in civil conflict, as well as in two world wars. Blood, Iron and Gold tells the dramatic story of how the railways changed the world.
The opening of the pioneering Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 marked the beginning of the railways' vital role in changing the face of Britain. Fire and Steam celebrates the vision and determination of the ambitious Victorian pioneers who developed this revolutionary transport system and the navvies who cut through the land to enable a country-wide network to emerge. From the early days of steam to electrification, via the railways' magnificent contribution in two world wars, the chequered history of British Rail, and the buoyant future of the train, Fire and Steam examines the social and economical importance of the railway and how it helped to form the Britain of today.
In the 1830s, The United States underwent a second revolution. The opening of the Baltimore & Ohio line, the first American railroad, set in motion a process which, by the end of the century, would enmesh the vast country in a latticework of railroad lines, small-town stations and magisterial termini, built and controlled the biggest corporations in America.By the middle of the twentieth century, however, as the automobile and the aeroplane came to dominate American journey-making, the historic importance of the railroads began to be erased from America's hearts and minds. In The Great Railway Revolution, Christian Wolmar tells us the extraordinary one-hundred-and-eighty-year story of the rise, fall and ultimate shattering of the greatest of all American endeavours, of technological triumph and human tragedy, of visionary pioneers and venal and rapacious railway barons. He also argues that while America has largely disowned this heritage, now is the time to celebrate, reclaim and reinstate it. The growth of the US railroads was much more than just a revolution in mode, speed and convenience. They united the far-flung components of a vast and disparate country and supercharged the economic development that fuelled its rise to world-power status. America was created by its railroads and the massive expansion of trade, industry and freedom of communication that they engendered came to be an integral part of the American dream itself.
Engines of War tells the dramatic story of how the railways revolutionized the nature of warfare, ushering in an age of industrialized conflict in which wars were fought on a previously unimaginable scale. From the moment of its first appearance, the 'iron road' not only rendered armies more mobile, but also massively increased the power and the deadliness of the weaponry available to them. Christian Wolmar's epic account of how an invention that brought prosperity in peace-time metamorphosed in time of war into a weapon of death, is counterpointed by a wealth of human stories of personal endeavour and private tragedy. Embracing every major conflict in which railways have played a part - the Crimean War, the American Civil War, the First and Second Boer Wars, the two World Wars, the Korean War and the Cold War, Engines of War is awe-inspiring tale of industrial might and the transformative power of machinery.