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

Sunday Nov 26, 2023

Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker delve into the details of UK parliamentary bills covering automated vehicles [1:40] and pedicabs [11:42] and reveal why legislation on railways in Great Britain won't get beyond the draft stage [17:15].  Picking up on the recent UK Government ministerial reshuffle, Christian and Mark look at the biographies and responsibilities of three new office holders in the UK Department for Transport [24:29] before examining the underlying causes of the shortage of orders for new trains from British factories [29:14] and whether restrictions on rail passengers' luggage are anything new [37:09].

Saturday Nov 11, 2023

Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker consider the UK's Automated Vehicles Bill [1:45] and the Draft Rail Reform Bill [6:30].  Christian then interviews new Freightliner boss and rail industry legend Tim Shoveller about his career and the lessons he draws for the future [11:43] before speaking on site to Luton DART General Manager Linsey Sweet about just how Britain's newest transport system works [43:36].  Finally, Christian reflects on the possible settlement of England's long-running rail industrial disputes [48:53].

Wednesday Nov 01, 2023

Breaking news brings an extra episode from Christian Wolmar and Mark Walker who scrutinise the complete abandonment of proposed rail station booking office closures in England after a huge public backlash [1:30] and the withdrawal of Cruise self-driving cars in the USA following safety concerns [16:30].  In his Final Thought from the Departure Lounge, Christian asks whether the two stories show the limitations of technology in transport [26:10].

Thursday Oct 26, 2023

In an antidote to intense recent coverage of HS2 and alternative schemes, Christian Wolmar and Mark Walker take a look at 5 transport stories from around the UK listeners may have missed [2:20].  Christian reports on what the House of Commons Transport Committee was told about August's air traffic chaos [11:14], how National Highways in England has been persuaded to reverse the infilling of a much-loved railway bridge [16:50] and why so many bus shelters have vanished from the streets of Croydon [23:10].  Finally, Christian asks why we can't have a comprehensive transport strategy for the UK [32:19].

Wednesday Oct 11, 2023

In this special episode recorded in Liverpool focused on the 2023 principal UK political party conferences, Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker discuss the Conservatives’ announcement on measures designed to protect the interests of motorists [1:10] along with the cancellation of the remaining sections of the HS2 high speed rail line and the diversion of investment funds to Network North [7:55].  We then have an extended interview about the impact of the latter announcement with Henri Murison, Chief Executive of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership [14:51].  Christian and Mark then report from Liverpool on Labour’s position in the immediate wake of the conference speech by the Shadow Transport Secretary and her reaffirmation of pledges on bus and rail reform [34:03].  Finally, Christian praises recent improvements to the rail network in the Liverpool City Region [39:23].

Friday Sep 29, 2023

As the 2024 UK General Election looms ever closer, Christian Wolmar and Mark Walker examine why both the Conservative and Labour Parties are tying themselves in knots over HS2 [2:40] and whether the reform of Greater Manchester's bus network is the precursor to a wave of changes across the country [10:28].  Still with buses, Christian interviews Alex Warner about the 'Great Scenic Bus Competition' which aims to make travel on this mode of transport much more fun [17:44].  Returning to controversial infrastructure schemes, Christian looks into the findings of the inquiry into Edinburgh Trams [30:38].  Finally, Christian asks whether the UK Prime Minister is miscalculating by waging a culture war on behalf of the motorist [36:59].

Friday Sep 15, 2023

Is Christian Wolmar's sceptical view of self-driving vehicles vindicated by the report from the House of Commons Transport Committee [1:59]?  Does the new default 20mph speed limit on residential streets in Wales point the way to better road safety or economic ruin [9:50]?  Will political choices leave the breathtaking HS2 Old Oak Common station as the terminus of a bizarre Acton to Aston railway [15:37}?  Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker set out to answer these questions.

Thursday Sep 07, 2023

We're back!  Christian Wolmar and Mark Walker launch Season 2 bringing you up to date with three of the summer's biggest transport stories - air traffic control in crisis [1:49], Greater London's ULEZ extension [5:19] and England's main line rail booking office review [8:58] - including the take on the latter of ASLEF union leader Mick Whelan [13:51].  We then take listeners on the first part of our audio visit to the HS2 high speed rail line construction sites - this time the Colne Valley [19:30].  Christian finally asks what needs to be done to protect the 'turn-up-and-go' railway in Great Britain.

Sunday Jul 23, 2023

SEASON ONE FINALE!  Christian examines in detail the advantages, challenges and myths around Low Traffic Neighbourhoods with Green member of Oxford City Council, Emily Kerr [2:53]; innovative passenger boarding technology at Eurostar is then explained by the company's Gwendoline Cazenave and Gareth Williams with Andrew Budd from iProov [24:50]; and no season finale would be complete without a cliffhanger ending [44:00].  Christian Wolmar and Mark Walker will be back for Season 2 in September.

Monday Jul 10, 2023

Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker discuss the furious reaction to suggestions that booking offices at most of England's main line rail stations will be closed and the arguments put forward by advocates of this policy [01:30]; Christian undertakes a cab ride between London Paddington and Oxford with Great Western Railway Managing Director Mark Hopwood (and some very skilful drivers) in which they discuss a range of issues including the benefits of infrastructure and station investments, incomplete electrification, integration with local buses and the restoration of Nuneham Viaduct [11:47]; finally, Christian examines the agreement at the International Maritime Organisation on measures to reduce carbon emissions from merchant shipping [37:13].

'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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