The Race to the North (Hardback)
Rivalry and Record-Breaking in the Golden Age of Steam
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In the late nineteenth century, some of Britain’s leading main-line railway companies threw caution to the winds in an attempt to provide the fastest passenger express services between London and Scotland. These became known as the ‘races to the north’. There were two phases, in 1888 and 1895, and they spurred the building of new bridges across the Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay.
David Wragg’s gripping, detailed narrative tells the story of this epic engineering and commercial competition. He concentrates on the determination of the railway companies to see who could provide the fastest schedule between London and the main Scottish cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen.
Casting aside their early policy of co-existence on these prestigious and lucrative routes, the West Coast and East Coast companies were drawn into a period of intense, highly publicized rivalry as they sought to dominate the market. David Wragg gives an insight into the conduct of the well-publicized highs and tragic lows of this dramatic story – the extension of the lines to the far north, the building of the Tay and Forth bridges – including the collapse of the first Tay bridge with 72 fatalities – and the repeated bids by the companies to cut the journey times.
While he describes the public side of this fascinating story, David Wragg fills in the background, which is no less interesting – the pioneering engineering of the steam age, the massive construction projects, the cut-throat battle for passengers and freight and the deep inter-company rivalries that drove the rapid development of the railways during the Victorian period.
This book covers the inception, growth and employment of Britain's airborne forces (parachute and glider-borne formations) between June 1940 and March 1945. It takes a comparative approach and follows tailored lines of development. Each of these lines - politics and policy, equipment and technology, personnel and training, command and control and concepts and doctrine - influence each other. The contents include: Politics and Policy: The political environment within which the major decisions were made concerning the concept of development of Britain's airborne forces. Churchill's personal contribution,…By John Greenacre
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