Regular readers will know that I have a slow hunch about the value of stories in the place where they happened. So when I saw the brief for the latest BBC Connected Studio, focused on Knowledge and Learning, I packed my personal hobbyhorse and jumped on the train to Salford. It was an ace day. … Continue reading After BBC Connected Studio – gazing through a moving window
More than 150 years ago John Ruskin imagined the experience of flight. Now, thanks to Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, we can begin to imagine the possibilities without it. Robert Paterson provocatively suggests in Volcano & Air Travel - A Black Swan? What might happen: At the moment we are all treating this event as a temporary inconvenience. But … Continue reading If the dust doesn’t settle: Gin, Jetplanes and Transitive Surplus
News that GNER, my financially-challenged intercity train operator, has just achieved a Charter Mark for excellence in customer service, has prompted me to reflect on a peculiar scene that's played out nearly every time I travel with them. There are many things I love about travelling GNER compared to other UK rail operators [if anyone … Continue reading Gee Any Arghh
Remember the old story about the plan to sell ads on vinyl records in the gaps between the tracks? It never happened because the crackly silence turned out to be an essential part of the LP experience. I'm on a train with the world's information sliced and diced into 500 pixels in my hand. But … Continue reading the space between the tracks
From Simon Thurley's fascinating Buildings That Shaped Britain we learn that Isambard Kingdom Brunel had only once travelled on a train when he designed the gloriously non-standard Great Western Railway from London Paddington to Bristol. Now that, for good or ill, is the difference between innovation and design.
National Railway Museum. Mainly popular with men in their 50s and boys under four.