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British Rail: The Nation's Railway by [Jackson, Tanya]
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British Rail: The Nation's Railway Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Description

About the Author

Tanya Jackson is the transfer development manager of the Historical Model Railway Society, and has been in the society since 2000. Prior to this she worked as a journalist for a number of years, and also wrote comedy for BBC Radio.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9619 KB
  • Print Length: 281 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0750960760
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B9BL6QG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,571 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book by Tanya Jackson is interesting and well written and worth the price. However I would say that the title leaves you expecting something different and a bit more overall.

Jackson does write in the introduction this was originally to be titled "British Rail - a passenger's journey" but was changed because they felt it confusing. This title would definitely have served the book better, in my opinion.

The book starts around the development of the railways, their gradual amalgamation, the grouping of 1923 and nationalisation. A good chunk of the book is concerned with the development of passenger rolling stock, mainly the MK1, MK2, MK3 and MK4 carriages. The book goes into details about technical developments of the rolling stock and often tells interesting stories about BR. There are some gems of info in there, such as the invention of the pandrol clip for sleepers but this is only mentioned in the context of improving the riding qualities of the carriages.

Jackson does cover some other issues, such as how BR changed customer service. The truly innovative creation of the railway corporate scheme and how BR aggressively marketed itself against road and railway and closes with the disintegration of BR.

Overall I feel it is worth reading but if you want to read about BR infrastructure or the freight side then you need to look elsewhere.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although the book is about British Rail it also contains enough historical information to give a framework to how it came about and the challenges British Rail had to face. The author is a little bias but with British Rail as a subject its difficult not to be. What was interesting was her analysis of Dr. Beechings work and the cuts that came before and after it. Her journalistic training means the book is readable even if it is full of TLAs (Three Letter Acronym), there is a glossary of them at the back. As British Rail Carriage Steward of HMRS (Historical Model Railway Society)one would expect her to have detailed knowledge of British Rail coaching stock but I was surprised to find a mention of double-deck coaches being run on UK main line.

If ever you travel by train and have wondered why something is done the way it is you'll probably find the reason in here.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Certain other books on BR history have been almost overwhelmingly statistical. This is a fine balance - with a fresh style and excellent "business and social" elements , without going into the (often chartered) grounds of anti - Beeching hysteria. Highly reccomended (as an ex BR manager who lived through some of these times) - and the cover design is outstanding.
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Format: Hardcover
In writing this book Tanya Jackson readily acknowledges Modern Railways magazine as a big source of her information and this shows through in the narrative. That's not to be critical: Modern Railways has always offered informed, thoughtful coverage of the UK railway scene and that's something that could be said to apply to this book but only in the areas that the author has chosen to do so. I worked for BR from 1978 onwards - and am still in the allegedly privatised industry today - and recognise much of what she describes. The appalling attitude of many staff in the early 1980's was very real and very shocking to someone like myself who had parents as publicans and who taught me to treat customers as kings! Her view that this approach by the staff was engendered by customer attitudes shaped by a very hostile media is not one that I'd considered before. It is indeed the case that the press were then, as now, almost genetically incapable of saying anything positive about the railway industry despite the vast amounts of taxpayers' money being invested in it. One could go on about this for hours but in my opinion BR was indeed hamstrung by being state run and that in itself makes me less than convinced that it was a success as the back of the book cover proclaims. BR did what it was remitted to do with completely inadequate funding, political support and in the face of voracious competition from the new motorway network which had yet to choke itself into utter uselessness. If the structural changes of 1993 hadn't resulted in so much death and injury then there is no question in my mind that the railway of today is far more successful. As I write this Network Rail has, quite unremarked by the media, passed back into state ownership.Read more ›
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By cairns TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very well researched book using some reference sources that I have not come across in books of this genre. Written in a light way, the volume gives a background to the railways history, but as the title suggests, majors on the period between nationalisation and privatisation, and covers the politics surrounding BR interwoven in it's history. I have read many books on this era, but many new ( to me ), facts are contained within this one. The facts are all there, but very easily assimilated. Once again the name of Peter Rayner is mentioned, a man of immense principle who turned down a lot of money rather than keep quiet about the double dealing. A man of the railways and a champion of the user. The foreword is by Chris Green, a giant of the railways who stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone throughout the history of the railways, and who is described as " the best chairman that the railways never had ". I would go farther than that and describe him as amongst the greatest industrial figures of at least the last fifty years. He had the knack of turning failure into success, but all his work, particularly at Intercity was undone at privatisation. Surely at least a knighthood for services to railways is long overdue. I very much enjoyed the references to the hapless John Major and his government. Even by British standards that administration was poor. There are two sections of photo's included, one lot in colour, one in black & white. Very highly recommended for anyone interested in railways or indeed recent history. I have not come across the author before, but this is a very accomplished work. A great addition to a collection. British Rail was a success in spite of various governments trying their best to damage it, and the media rubbishing most of what BR did. When they were left to get on with running a railway they did great things.
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