Healing wounds

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...
It may come as a surprise, but London Underground doesn’t have the only underground railway network in the nation’s capital. Running directly under the feet of millions of unsuspecting Londoners and passing many of the city’s most recognisable landmarks, the...

Video report: Railway Paths

Insight into Railway Paths, the charity that looks after more than 650 disused railway structures with the intention of them hosting foot and cycle paths.

Tunnel vision

Something extraordinary is happening under London. Six mechanical navvies, bewildering in their efficiency, steer Crossrail’s tunnels through tangled subterranean history towards an end-point later this year. Writes Graeme Bickerdike Forever hungry, Ada, Phyllis, Victoria, Elizabeth, Mary and Sophia each mine...

Turning back time

It won’t sweeten the bitter fares pill commuters have to swallow. Ministers won’t be queuing to have their faces seen on site. There’s no great innovation; no new tech. This is engineering at its most elemental. Dirty; frontline; nuts...

Holiday in the Bahamas

Ones and noughts are now omnipresent, forming a thick digital cloud in the ether. Binary streams surge down optical fibres, pouring into data mines where prospectors pan for gold. Intelligence gathering brings rich pickings, 24/7. On-board your Pendolino, components submit...
This fascinating question was posed and debated at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ headquarters during a recent seminar organised by the Railway Engineers’ Forum (REF). The REF, a grouping of the railway interests of the engineering and associated professional...
History has made heroes of the men who powered Britain’s economic and social revolution through the 18th and 19th centuries. Names that still inspire: Arkwright, Darby, Stephenson, Watt, Telford. More transitory and villainous was the notoriety bestowed on a...

Bridging Dawlish

Dawlish, a seaside town on the south coast of Devon about 12 miles fromExeter, was originally a fishing port which grew into a well-known resort in the eighteenth century. In 1830, Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed a pneumatic railway which...

Royal Albert Revisited

Linking Devon with Cornwall across the river Tamar, the single track Royal Albert Bridge is of strategic importance, being the only remaining mainline rail link into Cornwall. If it were to be out of action, then the Royal Duchy...

Crossrail opening goes back to 2021

The estimated completion date of Crossrail, the new railway running under London from West to East, has now been put back to...