The Railway Builders
|Publisher||John Murray Publishers, 50 Albermarle Street, London W1X 4BD|
"The Railway Builders" sets out story of the Herculean efforts required to get a railway line up and running in Victorian Britain. Everything from the promoters of lines, through the planning process, parliamentary procedures to the individuals involved in building the railway is covered in detail, with examples taken from railways built in Britain.
The book is let down by two racist references thus:
Reference to inclusion of an Irishman on a survey team - "very deaf, very stupid, very ugly and indomitably conceited" was unnecessary. With the plethora of British railway managers employed in Irish Rail in recent years, what would the reaction be if I were to refer to 'the stuck up, patronising subjects of Elizabeth Windsor who, being unaware that the Republic of Ireland is independent, still look down at Paddy'?
"But then almost anyone, it seemed, qualified for the job. A rough looking Irishman applied to join the police. He was asked his job: 'Faith, and I am a railway surveyor!' 'A railway surveyor?' asked the clerk with some surprise. 'Yes, sure, your honour and didn't I always carry the poles!'
Coming from a nation of football hooligans, facing sharia law in 20 - 30 years, the remarks are a cheap shot that ruin an otherwise valuable addition to the published material on railway engineering.
Days Hotel Belfast - located in a lovely area of Belfast where the Union Jack flies from every lamppost and the kerbstones are painted blue white and red.
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