Want to recapture the golden age of rail? Go back to Brunel, not the nightmare of British Rail

By Michael Williams IT WAS known as God’s Wonderful Railway – and with good reason. In its glory days, until the drab hand of nationalisation fell on it in 1948, the old Great Western Railway was the most admired railway […]


September 22, 2015 Daily Mail

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

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

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

The incredible heroes of our railways

IT WAS a moment of utter spine-tingling terror as the driver of the heavy freight train powering through Cambridgeshire looked back from his cab just after midnight and saw smoke and flames billowing from the leading wagon, just behind his […]


May 25, 2013 Daily Mail

Last call for the dining car

It is one of the last civilised experiences left in the modern world of travel. The soothing clink of cutlery on china, the starched tablecloths, a smartly uniformed steward at your elbow serving dinner in the restaurant car as the […]


May 25, 2011 Daily Mail

Slow Train to Heaven: One man’s 30,000-mile rail journey around Britain

The ancient wooden signal clatters down and there’s a friendly wave from the guard. It’s time to climb aboard the little branch line train, pottering along an idyllic Cornish valley to a perfect seaside fishing village. Here, through the train […]


April 25, 2011 Daily Mail

Britain’s Top Ten Railway Journeys

1: The prettiest. Middlesbrough to Whitby. Meandering for 36 miles through mellow stone-built villages along the lovely Esk Valley to the salty sea air of the ancient fishing town of Whitby, this is the best of rural England in all […]


April 9, 2011 Daily Mail

The man who put the timetable into the railways

It’s got a drab brown cover stained with greasy fingermarks, and the faded gold leaf of the title is barely legible. The tiny print inside is so small you need to squint to decipher some of the text. There’s no […]


March 25, 2011 Daily Mail

High fares, overcrowding…the problem with our railways

Turn up the heating. Snuggle under the duvet. The thought of turning up at the station for that miserable commute back to work after the long Christmas and New Year holiday is grim at the best of times. You have […]


December 25, 2010 Daily Mail

Why do rail bosses treat the travelling public like idiots?

The thought of going back to the railway station for that miserable commute to work after the long Christmas and New Year ­holiday is grim at the best of times. You have to fight to get a seat in an […]


December 3, 2010 Daily Mail

The Kaiser’s Holocaust

In the new seafront restaurant overlooking the bay in the tiny resort of Luderitz on the coast of Namibia, tourists are invited to sit out on the balcony, where they can dine on the finest South Atlantic seafood accompanied by […]


August 25, 2010 Daily Mail

Ford car billionaire’s fantasy city in the jungle

Henry Ford was feeling mighty pleased with himself as he strutted round the exhibition in New York showcasing his brand new “Model A” car, accompanied by his son Edsel and his old friend Thomas Edison. And why not?  It was […]


March 25, 2010 Daily Mail

Climb aboard the idyllic slow trains of Britain

Can there be a better image to summon up the spirit of the British landscape than a country branch line? A little tank engine chuffs along a single track, a few wisps of steam drifting across the fields, the sun […]


March 25, 2010 Daily Mail

How Britain’s railways conquered the world

Once upon a time it was synonymous with all that was great about the nation that invented the train. The mighty Victorian railway centre at Crewe was not only the most celebrated junction in the world, but the nerve centre […]


November 25, 2009 Daily Mail

St Pancras – surely, the world’s greatest station

“St Pancras was a 14-year-old Christian boy, who was martyred in Rome in by the Emperor Diocletian. In England he is better known as a railway station.” With these immortal words, Sir John Betjeman set in motion the most astonishing […]


April 3, 2007 Daily Mail

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