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.

  • Five countries sign China to Iran railway agreement 14 December 2014
    A preliminary agreement for developing the proposed China – Kyrgyzstan – Tajikistan – Afghanistan – Iran railway was signed in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on 8-9 December 2014.1 The meeting was chaired …
  • Transport in Afghanistan 1 December 2014
    The craziest thing I’ve ever seen on a motorcycle here is a live sheep, bungeed to the back of a motorcycle, eating hay that had been thoughtfully provided by the motorcyclist, hanging from a bag on h …
  • India, Iran and the port of Chabahar 23 November 2014
    Indian authorities initially planned to build a railway line from Chabahar to Zaranj, an Afghan town about 880 km away, so as to link up with the Zaranj-Delaram highway built by the Indians in Afghani …
  • Northern Afghanistan railway feasibility study scope extended 6 November 2014
    Appleton & CANARAIL announce extension of Scope of Work for the Afghanistan Railway Feasibility Study for Northern Afghanistan Appleton Consulting Incorporated (ACI) is proud to announce, in conce …
  • Hairatan to Mazar-i-Sharif railway management contracts planned 2 November 2014
    Afghanistan Reconstruction & Development Services has published the Afghanistan Railway Authority’s

Sound mirrors

  • Excavated Fan Hole sound mirror photo 8 December 2014
    A last location shot of those 'sound mirrors' at Fan Hole on the White Cliff @andrew_grantham — Fergus Murray (@FergusMMurray) December 8, 2014
  • Mentioned in The Independent 15 November 2014
    Janet Street-Porter mentions the sound mirrors – and this website – in The Independent newspaper on 15 November 2014. “We’re in danger of losing these wartime relics” … “You can see more images on the …
  • Letters in The Independent 3 November 2014
    Binbury and Thurnham got there first!. Two letters about sound mirrors from The Independent newspaper of 29 October 2014.
  • Echoes from the Sky reprinted 2 November 2014
    Hythe Civic Society has reprinted Richard N Scarth’s “highly acclaimed” 1999 book Echoes from the Sky, with additional material from his research. More details. Echoes from the Sky is the definitive b …
  • Sound mirror excavated 28 October 2014
    Sound mirror (dating to 1917) excavated at Fan Bay, #WhiteCliffs @southeastNT – just amazing — Nathalie Cohen (@Nathalie_Cohen) October 28, 2014

Railways of Iraq

  • Derailment response vehicle for IRR 29 September 2014
    One of 7 Zagro derailment response vehicles ordered by Iraqi Republic Railways, on show at #InnoTrans — Railway Gazette (@railwaygazette) September 26, 2014
  • 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 signs …

Other – travel and similar

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

  • Steam loco at InnoTrans 2014 2 October 2014
    HF Wiebe GmbH’s Hanomag 9445/1925 0-4-0T ‘Emma’, offering cab rides at the InnoTrans 2014 trade fair held in Berlin, Germany, during September 2014.
  • 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 …