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

Father and son – an Easter story. My article in today’s Independent

Here’s a link my article from today’s Independent newspaper about how I bonded with my 12-year-old boy through our twin faiths as he prepares for manhood http://ind.pn/1eQiE8o


April 18, 2014 Blog

Time to set our sights on the slow train…and how to make it better

  Chatting with my friend Chris Milner, Deputy Editor of the Railway Magazine, he points out that in 1954, it took a steam train, on average, 1hr 15min to travel the 33 miles from Nottingham Midland to Lincoln St Marks, […]


April 17, 2014 Blog

Halfway to the summit – and steaming ahead for the final push

Phew! Just passed 42,500-word halfway mark for my new book for Random House out next year – ‘The Trains We Have Lost’. With thanks to the British Library for a tranquil research berth and historically minded train companies, including East […]


April 10, 2014 Blog

Why the national press is right to challenge politicians on ethics

I’m giving two talks at Nottingham University this Saturday on the national press and investigative journalism. The debate about both is coming nicely to a head this week in the row about Culture Secretary Maria Miller’s expenses…


April 7, 2014 Blog

Father and son: How I bonded with my 12-year-old boy through our twin faiths. A story for Easter

 Here’s an extract from my article in today’s Tablet magazine: 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 […]


March 28, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Lovely review of Steaming to Victory on the Book Bag

A lovely review of the new edition of Steaming to Victory on Suzi Feay’s Book Bag. It’s one of the top online websites. Here’s what it says: ‘Soon after the end of the First World War, the British railways entered […]


March 25, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Unexploded WW2 bomb heralds new Steaming to Victory book

Coincidence or what? With the new updated edition of Steaming to Victory out in a few days, my local paper, the CNJ, rang me last night to ask advice about the origin of an unexploded bomb found not far from […]


March 20, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory is ‘Chuffing marvellous’, says Daily Express

A super review of the new updated edition paperback edition of ‘Steaming to Victory’ in today’s Daily Express, which describes it as ‘Chuffing marvellous’. The reviewer says: ‘This highly readable book covers the essential but often overlooked role trains played […]


March 14, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Steaming to Victory – on board the Eurostar

Just returned from a Eurostar trip from London to Paris. I’m putting the train through its paces for a chapter in my next book following on from ‘Steaming to Victory’. Although the decor is a bit tired, the train performed […]


March 7, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Steaming to Victory and the British Forces in Germany

  Here’s an item from Sixth Sense – the newspaper of the British Forces in Germany – about the special Steaming to Victory train on June 6. I’m giving a talk on the day in Gloucester Cathedral: A special steam […]


March 2, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory and the Bethnal Green Tube disaster

I went today to the 71st anniversary memorial service for the victims of the Bethnal Green Tube shelter disaster, which I wrote about in my new book ‘Steaming to Victory: How Britain’s railways won the war’. It was the worst […]


March 2, 2014 Blog

The Invention of News and The Future of Quality News Journalism

  Just read a brilliant book called The Invention of News by the historian Andrew Pettegree. Heartened to see another book saying that quality news can survive – a point we made in our own book The Future of Quality […]


February 28, 2014 Blog

Steaming to Victory – and the joys of the British Library

In the new edition of Steaming to Victory, out on March 27, I had to make some cuts to accommodate new facts that had come to light since it was first published last year. It was tough to know what […]


February 27, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Steaming to Victory – ‘Gripping as a fictional thriller’ – the new edition from Arrow Books, published March 27

    Very pleased that the new  edition of my book  ‘Steaming to Victory: How Britain’s railways won the war’ is to be published on March 27  by Arrow Books. It’s specially updated for the D-Day anniversary this June. The […]


February 18, 2014 Blog

Will they, won’t they build the new HS2-HS1 rail link through Camden?

Here’s me, asking the question of Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Lilian Greenwood at the Derbyshire Rail Forum on the terrace of the House of Commons last night


February 12, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

On the Slow Train – and a Beeching tragedy in Cornwall

The terrible weather has cut the old Great Western line to Cornwall at the Dawlish sea wall. So vulnerable always! What a tragedy that Beeching axed the old Southern Railway route  round Dartmoor to the north. I argued this in […]


February 6, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

‘Steaming to Victory’ – the new D-Day anniversary edition

Delighted with the cover of the new revised edition of my book ‘Steaming to Victory: How Britain’s railways won the war’. It’s out from Arrow Books in March in time for the anniversary of D-Day, when the Queen will be […]


February 4, 2014 Blog

Why social media works for me – by my journalism students at the University of Central Lancashire

Social media work as a great means of communication  for all generations  and all kinds of people- as this little film shows. It was made by my journalism students at the University of Central Lancashire.


January 30, 2014 Blog

‘Steaming to Victory’ – new WW2 anniversary edition – and the ‘train of the book’

With the World War 1 commemoration under way, let’s not forget World War 2, with two major anniversaries in 2014. In June, the Queen goes to Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and September is 75 years since […]


January 30, 2014 Blog

‘Breaking news!’ My talk to the boys of Hereward House school

My talk today to the boys of Hereward House school about my life in journalism and what the future holds for the media was great fun! What an intelligent lot!


January 26, 2014 Blog

The amazing journey of newspapers in just 50 years

Astonishing how the production of newspapers moved from a world virtually unchanged since Caxton to today’s apps for smartphones and tablets in just 50 years. The film in this link is about the Buffalo Evening News in the United States […]


January 25, 2014 Blog

Who reads the newspapers?

I love this clip about who reads the newspapers from the BBC comedy ‘Yes, Prime Minister. Despite the advent of tablet computers and smart phones it’s as true today as when it was first made… http://viewrz.com/video/who-reads-the-newspapers


January 25, 2014 Blog, Uncategorized

Super review of Steaming to Victory from the National Railway Museum

A very nice review of Steaming to Victory in the journal of the Friends of the National Railway Museum, which describes the book as “highly recommended” and “very readable”. It’s a big year for the railways in wartime in 2014 […]


January 16, 2014 Blog

Now a new great rail anniversary – Derby 175

After Tube 150, there’s an important new rail anniversary coming up this year – 175 years of Derby as a rail manufacturing centre. Famous for the great products of the Midland Railway that pulled the express trains into St Pancras, […]


January 9, 2014 Blog

The antidote to rail-bashing by the media – from my essay in the Independent

It was the ironic TV image of the week. “We always pay more but they never seem to spend any money on the railways?” the angry King’s Cross commuter fumed in an interview about the latest train fare rises. Yet […]


January 4, 2014 Blog

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