Churchill’s Final Journey and me – still Steaming to Victory 50 years on

My day with Winston Churchill – 50 years on. The National Railway Museum in York have put me and my schoolboy memories in a new exhibition about Churchill’s final journey, opening this Friday, January 30.  Here’s one of the images […]


January 24, 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

The Trains Now Departed – and how the ‘Testament of Youth’ movie gets it wrong

Amid the row over inaccuracies in the TV series Broadchurch, the movies don’t do it much better. I’ve just seen Testament of Youth, the autobiographical account of a group of friends in the run-up to and during World War One. […]


January 21, 2015 Blog, Uncategorized

All aboard the ghost train to Goole – watch me with Michael Portillo on Britain’s spookiest line on BBC2 at 6.30pm today in Great British Railway Journeys

Here’s me with Michael as we take the train from Knottingley to Goole in Yorkshire. Why is there only one train a day? And why does it continue to run when there is hardly ever anyone on it? All will […]


January 20, 2015 Blog

Winston Churchill – Steaming to Victory on 50th anniversary of his funeral at the end of January

With the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s funeral being marked at the end of this month, there are many delightful  stories about the war leader’s fondness for the railways – told in my most recent book Steaming to Victory.   In particular, […]


January 13, 2015 Blog

Time to re-open our disused railways. My article in the Daily Mail

By Michael Williams Distressed families lugging heavy suitcases, tired, bawling children shivering in the cold, confused elderly folk uncertain paralysed with panic. No, not a refugee exodus in some far-flung corner of the world, but the scenes at Finsbury Park […]


December 29, 2014 Blog, Daily Mail

The Trains Now Departed – Random House

Just seen the proof of the smashing design of the jacket of my new book The Trains Now Departed: sixteen excursions into the lost delights of Britain’s railways, out from Preface Publishing on May 7 2015. Can anybody guess where […]


December 18, 2014 Blog

A nice review of my co-edited book on the media – The Future of Quality News Journalism

The wheels of academia turn slowly, so delighted to see this first major review of our book The Future of Quality News Journalism. Professor Leigh L. Wright says: ‘A book such as this collection allows professors and students to read […]


December 11, 2014 Blog

Winston Churchill and Steaming to Victory: the story of a war hero’s final journey at the National Railway Museum

I’m off next week to help the National Railway Museum set up their new exhibition on Winston Churchill’s last journey. I’m contributing some memories from my book ‘ Steaming to Victory: How Britain’s railways won the war’


December 5, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Now wonder commuters go off the rails…

Review of Rush Hour by Iain Gately (Head of Zeus, £16.99) The Independent,November 29 2014 Here are some facts you’d probably prefer not to think about as you get out of bed in the morning. Britain’s rail commuters are allocated […]


December 1, 2014 The Independent

The Trains Now Departed – a short history of time on the railways. My lecture this week at the University of Central Lancashire

Do join me at the University of Central Lancashire School of Tourism for my talk on how the railways shaped our modern concept of time. And how the philosophy of time and the railways are inextricably entwined. Wednesday December 3 […]


November 28, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Review of Belles and Whistles by Andrew Martin in Camden New Journal

  Belles and Whistles, by Andrew Martin (Profile Books, £15.99) Andrew Martin is clearly not a fan of today’s trains, which he describes as a ”noisy hell of shuddering grey plastic”. This may not be surprising since his fans will […]


November 22, 2014 Camden New Journal

Steaming to Victory – memories on Armistice Day

I took this picture of ‘Royal Scot’ class locomotive No. 46115 ‘Scots Guardsman speeding through Kentish Town station in north London on a special train from St Pancras this Remembrance Sunday. How appropriate to see this wonderfully restored locomotive with […]


November 11, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

The Trains Now Departed – my newest book, published next May

‘The Trains Now Departed’. Thrilled with title of my latest book to be published by @PenguinRandomUK on May 7 2015


November 1, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

My commuter hell on the Sardine Express – the worst train in Britain

My article in the Daily Mail, October 9 2014   THE crush is suffocating. All five of my senses are being bombarded, from the overpowering stench of my fellow commuter’s breath barely inches away (chicken balti was on the menu […]


October 10, 2014 Blog, Daily Mail

Watch Steaming to Victory on a new DVD free with the Railway Magazine

See me talking about my research for Steaming to Victory on a super new DVD free with the new October issue of the Railway Magazine and filmed at the Great Central Railway.


September 30, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory and the 75th anniversary of World War 2

    On this week’s 75th anniversary of the start of WW2, let’s not forget the words of Winston Churchill, as victory neared, about the “grim determination, unwavering courage and constant resourcefulness of the railwaymen of all ranks” – without […]


September 2, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory ‘had me in tears’ says reviewer on Amazon

Here, without comment, is a lovely recent review of Steaming to Victory on Amazon:http://amzn.to/1gTNP3B 5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Read, 9 July 2014 By Imelda “Imelda” (a village in Berkshire) – See all my reviews Verified Purchase(What is this?) This review is […]


July 24, 2014 Blog

A journey into the soul of the railways – my new book

I’m just back from writing the latest chapter for my new book on the cherished icons of our railways and why they run so deep in the British psyche. It’s to be published by Penguin Random House in Spring 2015. […]


July 18, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Michael Portillo and me – on the slow train

Filming this week with Michael Portillo for his new BBC2 series of Great British Railway Journeys, to be screened in the spring. We’re at Knottingley in Yorkshire here, where we took one of the very rare trains from Leeds to […]


July 7, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory in the Railway Magazine ‘Remembrance Issue’

“Fresh and accessible. Make you feel you were there”. Another nice review – from the  railways and war commemorative issue of the Railway Magazine – Britain’s best-selling railway publication


July 3, 2014 Blog

The delights of small stations on the Slow Train – my Daily Mail article

By Michael Williams “Yes I remember Adlestrop…” Could there be a poem more evocative of the delights of early summer in the English countryside? It was just 100 years ago, on a hot June day in 1914, that poet Edward […]


June 29, 2014 Blog, Daily Mail

On the Slow Train – 100 years on since Edward Thomas’s poem ‘Adlestrop’

Today, the Cotswolds village of Adlestrop was celebrating 100 years since the poet Edward Thomas’s train stopped at the tiny station there, inspiring him to write one of the most loved poems in the English language It was a special […]


June 24, 2014 Blog

Michael Williams – and my work with the Independent newspaper

I am often asked about my association with the Independent newspaper and it associated media titles. For most of my professional journalistic life I have been associated with the Independent – one of the world’s great media brands. For many […]

Steaming to Victory is ‘an important and timely book’, says new review

A nice review of Steaming to Victory from ‘Frost’ magazine. Here’s what it says: My grandfather was a railway man for years. It left him with a lifelong love of the railway. He was also in the RAF during World […]


June 16, 2014 Blog

On the Slow Train through south-east Asia from the new Compass magazine

The air is thick with the fragrance of frangipani and bathed in the velvety warmth of the approaching day as I steal out before dawn, clutching my precious parcel of sticky rice. I can feel it hot against my chest […]


June 9, 2014 Blog, Compass, Compass magazine

The unsung heroes of D-Day – their story in Steaming to Victory

As the Queen, and President Obama commemorate this week the heroes of the D-Day invasion, which helped bring WW2 to an end, it should not be forgotten that some of the greatest heroes of D-Day were not on the Normandy […]


June 4, 2014 Blog

How I wrote Steaming to Victory – from the Western Daily Press

  A SMASHING FEATURE about how I came to write Steaming to Victory from the Western Daily Press: It may not have been the front line – but it was certainly the line behind the lines. With the country at […]


May 28, 2014 Blog

On the Slow Train and my trainspotting memories in The Independent

The Indy asked me this weekend for my memories of  the great days of trainspotting – not the Irvine Welsh kind!. I tried to explain the difference between a trainspotter and a railway enthusiast. But then I thought no point […]


May 26, 2014 Blog

The D-Day anniversary on June 6 and the heroic role of the railways

  In a couple of weeks, it’s the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord – the heroic Normandy landings that brought World War 2 to an end. It couldn’t have been done without the ‘Tarpaulin Armada’ operated by Britain’s railways, as […]


May 22, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory is ‘a lovely book’, says BBC Radio Manchester’s Mike Sweeney when we chatted on his show this week

  An enjoyable chat with BBC Radio Manchester’s Mike Sweeney about Steaming to Victory – and why it’s important to treasure the memories of a generation of brave people soon to pass from us. You can listen to it here: […]


May 16, 2014 BBC, Blog

Come and hear me talk about ‘Steaming to Victory’ and my other books at the Swindon Festival of Literature

I’m talking about my books, and especially Steaming to Victory, at the Swindon Festival of Literature tomorrow. Do come and hear me if you can. The talk, with illustrations is at Steam museum at 7pm http://www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk/


May 12, 2014 Blog

Is this the funniest railway book ever?

    Just got a copy of Railway Ribaldry, newly re-published by Old House Books. This is surely the funniest railway book ever. I loved it when I was a child, when I found it on the bookshelf of my […]


May 6, 2014 Blog

Did the railways win the war? My interview about Steaming to Victory on Monocle Radio

Normally, when I am interviewed about my books, people are happy to chat around the subject. But when I appeared on Monocle Radio the other day the two interviewers put me on the line to justify my thesis in the […]


May 6, 2014 Blog, Monocle Radio

Steaming to Victory – the Great Western goes to war at the Swindon Literary Festival

Hear the story of how the men and Great Western Railway helped to win the Second World War in my talk at the Swindon Literary Festival on May 14. Here’s an extract from my interview with the amazing Kathleen Halls […]


May 4, 2014 Blog

‘An elegant evocation’ – super appreciation of Steaming to Victory on the BBC History Extra Website

  Ashley Jackson enjoys an exploration of the key role that Britain’s railway network played in the Second World War:    Steaming to Victory is the story of how Britain’s rail network, its engines and rolling stock, and the thousands of […]


April 30, 2014 Blog

‘Fascinating and entertaining’ – latest review of the new Steaming to Victory

They certainly like the new paperback edition of Steaming to Victory in Spalding in Lincolnshire. Here’s the review from Spalding Today, via the local independent bookshop. (I must say how fond I am of local bookshops. They are a treasure […]


April 29, 2014 Blog

‘A story of quiet but vital heroism’ – another top review of the new Steaming to Victory

A lovely review of the new edition of ‘Steaming to Victory’ in Choice magazine – which selects it as  ‘Pick of the Paperbacks’. The reviewer says: ‘A story of quiet but vital heroism…’


April 29, 2014 Blog

Here is a group of people who really love books…

Delighted to be talking to the Royal National Institute for the Blind nationally tomorrow about the business of  book writing, and my own books. Hurrah for this community who really love books! 


April 28, 2014 Blog

Nice to see Steaming to Victory is all Five Stars with reviewers on Amazon

With publication of Steaming to Victory in paperback, it’s nice to see it’s now Five Stars with reviewers on amazon\1


April 23, 2014 Blog

Do as I do, not as I pray

It could hardly be more be surreal. Here I am discussing the significance of the Lord’s Prayer, that most emblematic totem of the Christian liturgy, with the most powerful woman in British Judaism in the magnificent Victorian-Byzantine setting of the […]


April 18, 2014 The Independent

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