Calling All Stations with Christian Wolmar

Christian Wolmar, Mark Walker and guests keep you up to date with the most engaging news stories, policy developments and interviews across the world of transport

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Episodes

Thursday Jun 13, 2024

Christian and Mark Walker look at the main UK parties' General Election manifesto pledges on transport with Labour's hot off the press [1:35]. Nautilus International General Secretary Mark Dickinson speaks to Christian about his union's manifesto for a thriving merchant shipping industry in the UK [15:17]. Christian recounts his cycling tour of the Normandy liberation sites raising funds for veterans' charity SSAFA [48:29].

Tuesday Jun 04, 2024

Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker examine the transport policy choices facing the UK political parties contending to win the 2024 General Election [1:25].  Mark interviews Christian about his latest book - The Liberation Line - telling the heroic story of how the reconstruction of the railways in France after D-Day from June 1944 hastened the Allied victory over Nazi Germany [20:22].  Finally, Christian reflects on an early suggestion of possible disagreement between a possible Labour Government and the Mayor of London on the extent of transport devolution [35:00].

Wednesday May 15, 2024

Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker visit the impressive HS2 station and viaduct construction sites in central Birmingham to see how the project is transforming the city's connectivity and skyline [1:30].  They also discuss the latest twists in the UK's roadspace culture wars including the insane conspiracy theories around '15-minute cities' [20:48].  Finally, Christian asks whether the classic car business is receiving disproportionate attention from the UK Department for Transport [31:02].

Friday Apr 26, 2024

Taking a brief pause between media interviews on the Labour Party's freshly published plan for railways in Great Britain, Christian discusses with Mark Walker the strategy, proposals, details and still unanswered questions revealed in the Shadow Transport Secretary's paper [1:09].  Christian and Mark then examine the progress by the House of Commons Transport Committee in its pre-legislative scrutiny of the Conservative UK Government's draft Rail Reform Bill [28:51].  In his final thought, Christian examines some innovations by rail operators in sustainability....and privacy [34:03].

Sunday Apr 14, 2024

Christian speaks at length with Steve Norris, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the UK Department for Transport between 1992 and 1996, who was the key Rail Minister serving John Major's Conservative Government in delivering the privatisation of Great Britain's railways and the creation of new industry structures.  While reflecting on the passenger growth which followed the 1993 Railways Act as well as candidly examining the shortcomings which emerged, Steve has much to say about flaws in the rail reform programme being promoted by today's Conservative Government, plus some pointed questions for Labour's alternative [2:30].  With the Labour Party having just published proposals for bus reform across England, Christian looks at what this could mean for cities and regions aspiring to enjoy bus networks more like those taken for granted in London [31:48].

Wednesday Mar 27, 2024

With further strikes scheduled in many of England's train companies, Christian speaks to Simon Weller, Assistant General Secretary of drivers' union ASLEF, about what the shape of a settlement to the long-running disputes over pay and conditions might look like [2:08 ].  Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker discuss the latest developments in Great Britain's rail reform programme [16:52].  Christian then discusses with Simon Pirani of the Fare Free London campaign the merits and challenges in making public transport in major cities free at the point of use [24:19].  His final thought is on the breaking news of the Baltimore road bridge collapse [48:50].

Friday Mar 08, 2024

A double interview edition where Christian discusses expanding active travel across the capital with Greater London's Walking & Cycling Commissioner, Dr Will Norman [1:39] and a new initiative to promote social mobility through railway employment with Steve White, Managing Director of Southeastern [21:27].  Christian also reflects that the big tech companies might have saved billions in wasted development costs on driverless cars if only they'd read his book on the futility of the concept [29:49].

Tuesday Feb 27, 2024

With the Draft Rail Reform Bill published by the UK Government for scrutiny by the House of Commons Transport Committee, Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker discuss just what this says about the direction of travel after six years rail reform in Great Britain and ask whether any of the proposals will ever be implemented [01:30].  The centrepiece of this episode is Christian's interview with Jason Prince, recently-appointed Director of the Urban Transport Group, who sets out his organisation's agenda for delivering major improvements in sustainable transport across the UK's cities and towns [15:44].  Finally, Christian celebrates the rebranding of London's Overground rail network with individual names for lines reflecting the history and heritage of our capital city [42:03].

Wednesday Feb 14, 2024

Christian sees for himself the hydrogen-powered bus fleet introduced through the pioneering partnership between Surrey County Council and Metrobus [01:30] before discussing with Mark Walker the findings of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on the cancellation of the northern sections of HS2 [30:47].  Listeners then receive an update on Christian's new book - 'The Liberation Line' - which reveals the exciting yet forgotten story of the Allied engineers who rebuilt the railways of Normandy and beyond after D-Day to accelerate the defeat of Nazi Germany [30:05].  Finally, Christian notes the failed promises and ultimate demise of hyperloop [39:28].

Tuesday Jan 30, 2024

In this special episode with just one item, Christian discusses with Jim Steer, Director of Greengauge 21, the prospects for restoration of the cancelled sections of Great Britain's new high speed railway - HS2 - and the difficult choices facing whichever party forms the next UK Government later in 2024.

'Calling All Stations' is the podcast for everyone with an interest in any form of transport.

Presented by Christian Wolmar - a leading transport journalist for over 25 years and author of 20 books - alongside Mark Walker, Chief Executive of transport-focused public affairs agency Cogitamus, 'Calling All Stations' examines all aspects of this diverse sector, from road to rail and cycling to flying as well as the wide range of wonderful (and more dubious) technological innovations promised by the industry.

We keep listeners up to date with the news as well as ensuring matters are viewed through a historical perspective.

While listening to the podcast is de rigueur for transport professionals, Christian's informed and relaxed style ensures there is no technical jargon, making it suitable for anyone with an interest in the sector's issues. 

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Calling All Stations - the transport podcast

Christian Wolmar, Mark Walker and guests keep you up to date with the most engaging news stories, policy developments and interviews across the world of transport.  Join the conversation via @AllStationsPod on ’X” (formerly Twitter).

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