Railpolitik : Bringing Railways Back to the Community

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Railways have always been at the heart of British politics, from their early beginnings in the 1830s through to the present day. And the sharpest debates have been on the issue of ownership and accountability. The book charts the railways under nationalisation (1948-1993) and outlines rail privatisation in both the UK and other European countries. Paul Salveson gives credit to recent achievements but attacks the fragmentation, increased costs and higher fares that have become a feature of Britain's privatised railways. Arguing against the return to a centralised 'British Rail', Salveson instead suggests a new model which goes with the flow of current plans to devolve rail responsibilities within the English regions. The author was the originator of the highly successful community rail movement, and he argues for more direct involvement of local communities in their railways. He outlines recent examples of local social enterprises bringing thriving services back to semi-abandoned stations, and shows how Britain's heritage railway sector has been a successful model for not-for-profit rail enterprise.
Combining historical analysis with personal experience and political theory, Salveson's research suggests an alternative ownership system for the rail networks and a possible future for Britain's transport system. The book also includes a foreword by Maria Eagle, the shadow secretary of state for transport.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 139.7 x 215.9 x 13.46mm | 294.84g
  • Lawrence & Wishart Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1907103813
  • 9781907103810
  • 1,078,476

Table of contents

1. Introduction 2. The First Railway Age 3. Challenging the Railway Barons 4. The Railways Under State Ownership 5. A Botched Privatisation? 6. The Community Rail Experiment 7. Railways in the 21st Century: Britain and Beyond 8. A Radical Alternative 9. How it might look in practice: Rail Cymru
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About Paul Salveson

Paul Salveson has spent most of his life working in the railway industry, starting as a blacksmith's striker at Horwich Loco Works in 1974. He was elected secretary for the Manchester District of the National Union of Railwaymen and established the Association of Community Rail Partnerships in the mid-1990s, before going on to a senior management post with Northern Rail in 2005. He now works as an independent consultant on community railways issues, is a visiting professor in transport studies at the University of Huddersfield and a Labour councillor. He was awarded an MBE for 'services to the railway industry' in 2008.
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