Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wolmar takes you down under., 3 April 2008
This review is from: The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How it Changed the City Forever (Paperback)
Christian Wolmar is a journalist who happens to have an interest in trains and this is one of many books he has written on the subject over the last 10 years.
Subterranean Railway focuses on the London Underground and how it grew to what we travel on today in our millions year on year.
Now personally I can just about tolerate the Underground in off peak times but when it comes to the peak hours it has to been one of the worse traveling experiences known to man or woman.
So with that in mind this book made me sit up and take notice of what a great feat on engineering the London Underground really is and still remains, the photo of Piccadilly Circus in chapter thirteen illustrates this point very well indeed.
In Chapters 1 to 13 Christian takes you on a journey from the Underground's construction during the 1850's and the subjacent creation of the first underground line the Metropolitan, then he goes on to explain the building and politics behind all the lines and finishes this part of the book with the story behind the creation of what is know as Metroland or to use another term, suburban London.
In Chapter 14 Christian goes onto explain the use of the underground during the war years and how it helped save many lives during the German bombing raids.
The London Underground is not without its problems by any means and in the last chapter Christian briefly explains why a lack of investment since the 1960's lead to a sad decline which was only turned around after the Kings Cross fire in the 1987.
Christian has done his research and because of this his book introduces and brings alive in your mind all the people that have played their part in the history of the Underground.
The reason I give this book a 4 star rating and not a 5 is I don't think there is enough pictures to compliment the Underground's early history and it can be sometimes hard to image what the old coaches and carriages use to look and feel like in them early years.
The book won't change your journey experience on the Underground but it will help you to appreciate and be proud of it.
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Location: Rochester, England

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