Saturday, 12 September 2009

New toy

Welcome to John Wylde's Integrated Transport blog. This is all new to me so don't expect slick operation until I get used to it. Also I shall only update it spasmodically because I am often away on my travels and I don't lug a lap-top around with me, so talk quietly among yourselves while I'm away.

I have yet to work out how this is going to be useful, but it seems that it will be a way of letting you know of comments which readers have made about my Integrated Transport book, and things which I have come across which I wish I had known about when I was writing it. I am so ignorant about this sort of thing that I don't even know whether it is interactive - i.e. whether you can comment on what I write here, or whether I should invite you to contact me through the web-site No doubt all will be revealed in time.

As a start I should like to thank the people who have reviewed the book and said encouraging things about it. In reply to the observation that a few illustrations would have been nice, I have to say that I found it so difficult to know where to draw the line with pictures - what to put in and what to leave out, though I do have a few ideas about that. The major problem has been how to source them. Being self-published I am mystified about how to find the pictures I want and, particularly, how to obtain permission to use them under copyright laws. I still haven't cracked that one. I would be really pleased to hear from somebody who can give me some guidance.

Most of the book is unaffected by on-going developments, because it is mainly about recording the events of the last century, but the last chapter is about the current situation and prospects for the future, so it is continually being overtaken by events. Much of what I write here may therefore be lightweight topical comment. There are well-known names who provide the heavy stuff in the relevant magazines. My comments are going to be more on the lines of why on earth Virgin Trains can continue the disgraceful practice of operating diesel trains from Birmingham to Scotland wholly under the wires without a whisper of a suggestion on their part or anybody else's as to how or when these will be replaced by electric trains.

Apart from matters of current interest, there are several topics mentioned in the book which could be debated even though such debate cannot now alter the course of history. One such is the oil-firing of steam locomotives, which could have saved a lot of agony fifty years ago.

Well, perhaps that is a start. I will do an update in a few weeks, and in the meantime I shall be pleased to hear from anybody who wants to discuss things that were said in the book. (I wonder what I am letting myself in for!).

John Wylde

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