The extraordinary story of the great St. Gothard Railway, one of Europe’s most vital transport links and one of the most romantic lines in the world. This line is one that involved the construction of a large number of tunnels, some of which are in the form of double spirals inside the mountains. This method of construction was necessary to enable the railway to gain altitude. The chapter describes how Switzerland’s “wonder-line” threads its way through the Alps and why this railway, with its remarkable spiral tunnels in the Alps is a marvel of engineering.
Click on the small image to see a British Pathe newsreel clip of “Saint Gothard Rail Tunnel” (1962) showing cars joining the train on the French side of the tunnel.
The second of four articles providing a fascinating account of railway engine progress in the British Isles, on the Continent, and in the United States of America. This chapter takes the story of the steam locomotive from the Rainhill Trials to the mid-1840s. The early problems facing locomotive builders were indeed considerable, and how, by their ingenuity, these pioneers overcame the most difficult of problems is a drama more fascinating than many told in the form of fiction. This is the second article in the series Design and Invention.
The story of how His Majesty’s mail is handled by the railways. An interesting survey of the methods employed on the great British mail trains which collect and deliver letters while travelling at seventy miles or more an hour. Every facet of common life seems to be reflected in the railway mirror. Who is familiar with the intricacies of the TPO’s - Travelling Post Offices? His Majesty’s mails form a very large part of the work undertaken by railways. On the special mail trains there are sorting offices that deal with the mail-bags as they are gathered by means of a net from the track-side on to the fast-moving train. Everything is done to save time and to speed up the mechanism of business.
Click on the small image to see a short British Pathe newsreel clip of mail being sorted on a travelling post office (1930).
The story of the Southern Railway’s electrification, “the greatest suburban electrification scheme in the world”. The Southern Railway has the distinction of owning the largest electrified suburban system in the world. This chapter describes and illustrates the outstanding features of this great network of lines. The article is completed in part 6.