Latest updates

The most recent updates from my various webpages.

Railways of Afghanistan

If you thought Afghanistan was bereft of railroads, read on for a story of international intrigue, invasion plans, the Great Game, and powers imperial and hydro-electric.

  • 1950s Afghan coal mine film 24 August 2014
    “1950s Afghanistan Coal Mine, Miners At Work, Industry – Rare 16mm Footage” from Kinolibrary, which is “an independent archive film agency based in East London. Supplying high quality, rare and inspir …
  • Map of the Russian Central Asian Railway 17 August 2014
    A map of the Trans-Caspian Railway from page 149 of the book “Russia’s railway advance into Central Asia” by George Dobson (W.H. Allen & Co, London, 1890).
  • Railway “Just like pushing a knife into my vitals” 10 August 2014
    The Amir of Afghanistan’s colourful and often-quoted description of British railway expansion towards his country being like a knife in his vitals comes from his autobiography. having cut a tunnel thr …
  • Osama and Bush on a train 9 August 2014
    This thing actually exists… an Operation Enduring Freedom “Get Osama” model railway wagon. The O-gauge model features Osama bin Laden on a flying carpet, and George W Bush riding a missile, Strangelov …
  • Afghanistan allocated Railway Country Code 5 August 2014
    Railway Country Code 68 has been assigned to Afghanistan by the International Union of Railway (UIC) and the Organisation for Cooperation Between Railways (OSJD), the Afghanistan Railway Authority has …

Sound mirrors

  • 1/1200 scale model sound mirrors 31 July 2014
    Although model trains are more my scene, last year I wandered along to the South East London Wargames Group show, where I acquired some Brigade Models 1/1200 scale sound mirrors. The models are cast i …
  • 2014 Denge sound mirrors open day date 28 June 2014
    The Romney Marsh Countryside Project’s 2014 “Echoes From The Sky Open Day” at the Denge listening mirrors near Dungeness in Kent is from 10.00 to 17.00 on Sunday 20 July 2014. The RMCP events are the …
  • Fan Hole sound mirrors archaeological dig 3 June 2014
    Very exciting news – the Fan Bay Deep Shelter blog confirms that the Fan bay sound mirrors have been found! On 3-4 May 2014 volunteers from the Dover Archaeological Group, the Canterbury Archaeologica …
  • Fan Bay sound mirror dig photos 12 May 2014
    The Nick’s Digs archaeology website has photos of the Fan Bay sound mirrors being uncovered: “It may not be unlocking the past of pre-history but as excavations go they have to be pretty special to be …
  • Fan Bay sound mirrors found 11 May 2014
    Exciting news: The National Trust are excavating the Fan Bay deep shelter near Dover, and “Part of the project seeks to uncover these [sound] mirrors, the survival of which would make the site nationa …

Railways of Iraq

  • New Chinese train for Iraq unveiled 25 February 2014
    The first of the new inter-city trains for the Baghdad – Basra corridor has been rolled out by Chinese manufacturer CSR Sifang.
  • Egyptian Railways website 5 December 2013
    Mark Goldfinch, author of the excellent book Steel in the Sand, has an unofficial website on Egyptian Railways. The Egyptian Railways Diwan is described as “a website and blog area intended to fill th …
  • Hudswell Clarke steam loco model 23 June 2013
    The Middleton Railway in Leeds has this model of a 2-8-4T steam locomotive supplied to the Iraq Petroleum Co by Hudswell Clarke. This model was displayed in the entrance to Hudswell Clarke’s offices. …
  • Baghdad elevated metro study contract 18 March 2013
    A US$40m agreement for Alstom to undertake detailed design studies for the first phase of an elevated metro was signed by Governor of Baghdad Dr Salah Abdul-Razzaq on February 11. [More...] Alstom sig …
  • Drawings of Iraqi locomotives 3 March 2013

Other – travel and similar

If God had intended us to fly, He would never have given us the railways.

  • West Croydon ticket machine offers unexpected option 24 February 2014
    I was rather surprised to find a ticket machine at London Overground’s West Croydon station offering me the option of a ticket valid for travel “By West Anglia Great Northern only” when I was buying t …
  • Railway photography in Nazi Germany 4 April 2013
    Given the outbreaks of anti-photography paranoia which have occurred in Britain in recent years, I was amused to stumble across this 1938 Railway Gazette article “Amateur railway photography in German …
  • The Museum of Army Transport rail-ripper 15 March 2013
    Museum of Army Transport, Beverley: German railroad-plough
  • Great Patriotic War museum rail hook 14 March 2013
    A replica of a Second World War rail-ripper hook wagon is included in the outdoor display area at the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Moscow. A sign explains: The “Hook” combined track-wr …
  • Oakham level crossing signal box 17 October 2012
    Built in 1899 to Midland Railway design 2b, the Grade II listed signal box at Oakham in Rutland achieved fame as the prototype for the Airfix plastic kit, now made by Dapol (catalogue no.C006). On 22 …