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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Tuesday Jan 23, 2024

Christian interviews Scotland's Railway's Managing Director Alex Hynes about how having a national transport strategy and the greatest possible collaboration between trains and track is powering innovation across the business [1:25] before taking a quizzical look with co-presenter Mark Walker at LNER's radical ticket reform proposals on its Edinburgh-London route [30:25].  The podcast also reflects on the continuing proliferation of abandoned e-bikes on the streets of UK cities and asks why so little is being done to regulate the providers [32:50].  Finally, Christian asks whether the possibility of a private sector solution for HS2 north of Birmingham may breathe new life into the cancelled project [36:33].

Monday Jan 08, 2024

Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker examine a positive report on progress in jet airliner safety alongside extraordinary incidents in Tokyo and Portland [02:00].  We have an extended interview debunking myths about electric cars with Edmund King OBE, President of the AA [12:40] and explore the implications of a Daily Mirror report on the scale of bus service cuts across England [37:55].  Finally, 'Mystic Wolmar' stares into his crystal ball and makes predictions about the transport world for 2024 [43:44].

Tuesday Dec 19, 2023

Christian and co-presenter Mark Walker consider the transport news and policy highlights of their first year of podcasting [1:10].  Christian celebrates 30 years of Eurotunnel operations with John Keefe, Chief Corporate and Public Affairs Officer at Getlink Group, asking what the future holds for the conveyance of road vehicles, growth in passenger train usage and expansion of rail freight traffic [5:33].  This is followed by a frank discussion with Sir John Armitt CBE, Chair of the UK National Infrastructure Commission, who reveals his organisation was not consulted about the abandonment of HS2 north of Birmingham in October, that he considers the sale of the acquired land unwise and that Great Britain now needs a new Integrated Rail Plan [24:39].  Finally, Christian praises the work and longevity of London's Railway Modelling Club Library [42:57]. 

Saturday Dec 09, 2023

Christian interviews the Aviation Environment Federation's Tim Johnson about just how green the first trans-Atlantic commercial flight using Sustainable Aviation Fuel really was [2:40].  Mark Walker and Christian discuss the rail, road and aviation measures contained in the UK Government's response to the Union Connectivity Review [24:14].  Our co-presenters also look at what rail patronage numbers in Great Britain say about post-pandemic recovery [36:53].  Finally, Christian asks what a recent legal decision on 'defeat devices' may expose about cheating on vehicle emissions [46:15].

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].

'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. 


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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