Rail in 21st Century

27 Feb

If you think rail (including tramways) have no place in this 21st Century think again.

I’ve just read a brilliant book, Trains Unlimited by Tim Fischer.  Fisher is an ardent rail buff and former deputy Prime Minister of Australia (deputy to John Howard).  He also runs a Trains Unlimited radio programme on the ABC.  The very readable book is a world perspective while giving Aussie a good crack of the whip.  Auckland’s Britomart terminal gets praise with a proviso the underground loop needs to go ahead.  And the South Island TranzAlpine is included in his 12 best of the best world rail journeys.  Fischer helped to make the railway to Darwin possible and is an enthusiastic advocate for high speed rail in Australia.  He argues privatisation has worked in Australia but failed elsewhere.  He discusses lobbying for rail and claims rail wins hands down with many issues including fuel efficiency and climate change.  As a life-long rail devotee I discovered much I did not know, such as the brilliant rail engineer, George Stephenson, being illiterate before learning to read as a teenager.  The book is hard to put down.  I got my copy from Fishpond for $47.  Have also spotted it in bookstores.

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