Archive for category: Heritage

Murder on the metals

There’s something about the railway that seems to stir the imagination of crime writers. Within these circles, the Victorian corridor coaches are held in the same esteem as a creepy country estate or a grand art deco hotel. Real-life crime on the railway has demonstrated the same ability to draw the public’s interest. The very […]

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The heroes of Britain’s railways in the Great War

The Great War cost Britain’s railways dear. In four years they went from being robust businesses that stood firmly on their own feet to ones that were near bankrupt, with their assets worn out by over-use for military traffic, and faced with massive new forms of competition. The rapidly developed motor vehicles that the armed […]

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Crossrail archaeology

The building of the Elizabeth line, the biggest infrastructure project in Europe, has revealed a wealth of archaeological treasures. Artefacts from earlier times have excited archaeologists and are considered well worth a major exhibition which will be staged at the Museum of London Docklands near Canary Wharf from the 10 February to 3 September 2017. […]
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Come hell or high water

It symbolised the coming of the electric age: ‘new’ Euston – a monument to the 1960s. Out went the station’s Doric propylaeum and glorious Great Hall, products of Philip Hardwick and his son; in came bleak concrete and what a critic called “tawdry glamour”, brought to us by British Rail’s anonymous architects. Thanks for that. […]
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Video: National Records Centre

ThumbnailOne of York’s most anonymous buildings houses the railway’s engineering memory – an archive of around nine million records dating back to the 17th century, but still expanding to take in documents from the 13,000 or so live projects currently being pushed forward by Network Rail. All the great engineers are represented – Stephenson (both […]
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Building the P2

Frame assembly 2007 underside 28-1-16sSteam locomotives are inefficient and costly to operate, hence British Railways replaced them with diesel and electric traction nearly fifty years ago. Today, however, steam-hauled specials are still very popular – and profitable. There is no denying the enthusiasm for steam trains on which people are willing to spend the time...
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Video: Torksey Viaduct reopens

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 15.13.51A new footpath has been officially opened across Torksey Viaduct, bringing function to a structure that has been quietly rusting since the railway it was built to carry closed in 1959. Designed by John Fowler in the late 1840s, the viaduct prompted considerable debate amongst the engineering fraternity due to...
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Video: Flying Scotsman returns

REyoutubehex-1Painstakingly overhauled and repainted in BR livery, Flying Scotsman has returned to its former stamping ground on the East Coast Main Line with a run from London King’s Cross to[...]
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Back in steam

NNP-FLYING_SCOTSMAN_TODAY_2360103 Flying Scotsman is back in public view following a decade- long restoration project, easing itself in with a series of test runs on the East Lancashire Railway. Once commissioning is complete in late February, Flying Scotsman season will begin, but not before a quick stop at the Bury workshop where 60103 has been restored to swap […]
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Healing wounds

Rhondda-1(p)Before the advent of Xboxes and all-singing smartphones, kids signed up to a vivid, multi-sensory game accessed through a portal at the far end of the kitchen, known as ‘outdoors’. In the black and white era – albeit slightly rose- tinted – this was unfettered by health and safety, the...
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Sierra Leone’s lost British locomotives ride again

Ravaged by civil war and the Ebola pandemic, Sierra Leone is hoping the railway can help deliver a positive future for the country. Up until 1975, Sierra Leone still had a national rail network – more than 300 miles of narrow gauge track, an iron reminder of its British heritage. Locomotives built...
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