In recent times, the railways seem to have been in the public eye more than ever. In particular, the timetable problems of Northern and Thameslink have seen the railway taking a great deal of (well deserved) flak. This is not an article about the debacle on those operators - a topic covered to death by … Continue reading Together in (sort of) Electric Dreams – A Critique of Government Rail Policy
Battleships played a pivotal role in world history for over 50 years. These hugely expensive ships were symbols of national pride, and were present at (or part of) the greatest moments of war and peace in the first half of the 20th Century. However, fast forward to today, and not a single navy has a … Continue reading What Happened to Battleships?
World War 2 was the deadliest war in history, and also perhaps one of the most well documented. Names like El Alamein, Stalingrad, Normandy, Midway and Barbarossa are common knowledge and with good reason - we should not forget the lives lost, and the brilliant (or misguided) military campaigns waged. The war saw mechanised violence … Continue reading The Importance of Railways in World War 2
Unlike what I usually write, about a specific machine or issue, this one is going to be much more general. I have over the years had many thoughts about cars, mainly because we in the West are surrounded by them a lot of the time, and they are possibly the transport medium people see most … Continue reading My Thoughts on Cars
In 1939, the British military had a problem. It did not have a submachine gun, and Britain did not have an industry experienced in producing them. To solve this shortage of capability, they bought a few German MP28s, and decided, rather shamelessly, to produce a copy with which to equip their forces. This was called … Continue reading Perfect is the Enemy of Good Enough: Thompson vs. Sten
Concorde, the world's only successful Supersonic airliner, was a remarkable achievement for the Anglo-French aviation industry. Able to cruise at twice the speed of sound and at up to 60,000 ft., here was an aircraft really pushing the limits of 60s technology. However, as with any great achievement, there was a great deal of preparation … Continue reading The Unsung British Test Aircraft that made Concorde Possible
In the 1960s, British Rail had a problem. Passenger numbers were down hugely, and money was being lost hand over fist. The Beeching reports and numerous other cutbacks had left the network far smaller than it had been when they inherited the network in 1948. This had left British Rail, despite a comprehensive rebranding programme, … Continue reading Perfect is the Enemy of Good Enough: APT vs. HST
"The popular image of Dr. Beeching is that of a wild axeman... it is not a balanced view"
World War 2 had left the United Kingdom in a spot of financial bother. The war had been phenomenally expensive, and Britain could hardly demobolise its military fast enough. Unfortunately, conflicts were breaking out in Malaya, then eventually in Korea too, and soon the empire was melting away, as Britain could no longer afford to … Continue reading The Bizarre and Incredibly Ambitious World of 1950s British Aviation
When was the golden era of British railways? It seems a truth widely acknowledged is that this was the 1920s and 1930s, the time of Flying Scotsman and the Royal Scot, of romantic streamlined expresses steaming across the nation and of brilliant British engineering. This was definitely not the golden era of railways, but more … Continue reading The Golden Era of British Railways (that might surprise you)