Wartime on the Railways
The History Press

Wartime on the Railways

  • Publish Date: 2006-08-01
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: David Wragg

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From the American Civil War onwards, railways have been an important aspect of war. While the first interest by the military in railways in Britain was intended primarily for internal security, the Boer War saw massive movement of men and their horses over the London and South Western Railway and through its port at Southampton. So important were the railways that in the First World War, the state took control of the railways, and then repeated this exercise under somewhat more controversial arrangements in the Second World War. Wartime on the Railways is an account of the part played by Britain's railways during the Second World War, dealing not simply with operational matters or the impact of enemy action on the railways, but also looking at financial arrangements, the part played by railway workshops in producing equipment for the military, the wartime experience of the railways' ships, with the narrative augmented by personal accounts from railwaymen, and women as the war years saw many jobs traditionally handled by men taken over by them. The book will include chapters outlining the preparations made by the railways for wartime during the final years of the peace, and will have chapters for each of the 'Big Four' companies, for London Transport's underground system, and also on financial arrangements, the impact of wartime restrictions on travel and scheduling, the role of the railway workshops, and of the ports and shipping, as many railway ships were lost during the battle for France and at Dunkirk.

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