Latest updates

The most recent updates from my various webpages. To keep up to date on the topics covered – and other things which interest me – follow @andrew_grantham on Twitter.

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.

  • Hairatan Harbor Economic Spot 24 May 2015
    A Radio Bayanshamal video about Hairatan. It is in Pashto (and is also available in Dari) so I don’t know what the commentary says, but it has some footage of TEM2-hauled freight trains and tank wagon …
  • Railway modelling in Kandahar 15 May 2015
    Yes, really! Matthew Picciotto built a HO (1:87) scale model railway module inspired by the Uzbekistan – Hairatan – Mazar-i-Sharif line while in Kandahar. Read all about it in his article Free-mo in a …
  • Advisor to AfRA Director-General and CEO 5 May 2015
    Student completes thesis in Afghanistan A University of Canterbury student who has just graduated with a commerce degree completed much of his thesis in Afghanistan, avoiding suicide bombings and kidn …
  • Kabul quarry railway plan 18 April 2015
    And we are going to put down twelve miles of railway to reach a marble quarry, where the Ameer is going to quarry marble to build a new Cabul with. Frank H Clemence, in an interview with the Liverpool …
  • Peshawar to Jalalabad railway project RFP issued 5 April 2015
    Pakistan Railways issued an international request for proposals for a “Feasibility Study For New Rail Link Between Peshawar And Jalalabad Through Loi Shalman Valley” recently. I can’t track down exact …

Sound mirrors

  • Zeppelins over the Northeast 14 April 2015
    To give early warning of raids, large concrete reflectors, or sound mirrors were built on the coast, to pick up the sound of airship engines with a microphone relaying the results to a nearby listener …
  • New style 13 April 2015
    I have updated the WordPress theme for this site to one which is pretty similar but hopefully more mobile-friendly. Let me know if anything doesn’t work.
  • 2015 Denge sound mirror open day date 29 March 2015
    The 2015 open day at the Denge sound mirrors near Dungeness in Kent is on Sunday 19 July 2015. The opening times are 10.00-17.00, with last entry at 16.30. There are full details at the Romney Marsh C …
  • Selsey sound mirror history 6 March 2015
    The downloadable “Coastal Defence and Zeppelin Raids” chapter (number 9) of the Invasion threats and counter measures section of West Sussex County Council’s Great War West Sussex 1914-18 webpages fea …
  • Kilnsea sound mirror in the Hull Daily Mail 28 February 2015
    6) Kilnsea Sound Mirror: Fears of attacks on Hull during the First World War led to the construction of this concrete “sound mirror”. The dish, a precursor of radar, would focus the sounds of distant …

Railways of Iraq

  • Mobile friendly 13 April 2015
    I have changed this website’s WordPress theme, so hopefully it should now be more mobile device friendly. Let me know if anything doesn’t work. Meanwhile, I would recommend following “Historical Railw …
  • New coaches for Iraqi Republic Railways 16 January 2015
    Tüvasaş has built 14 coaches for Iraqi Republic Railways, including 2 sleeping, 4 couchette and 2 restaurant cars — Railway Gazette (@railwaygazette) January 14, 2015
  • 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 …

Other – travel and similar

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

  • Eurostar Velaro on test in Brussels 5 May 2015
    A short and shakey video of a new Siemens Velaro high speed trainset for Eurostar, on test at Brussels Midi station on 25 April 2015.
  • Tours tram wireless operation 18 January 2015
    Videos of Alstom Citadis 402 trams in the French city of Tours switching from 750 V DC overhead to APS ground-level power supply, outside the main station. APS catenary-free operation is used on a 1·8 …
  • 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 …