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.

  • Khojak Tunnel construction, 1880 26 October 2014
    Watercolour depicting construction of Khojak tunnel, in Balochistan in 1880 by Rayner C Barker, CIE.
  • Herat’s influentials want the railway 18 October 2014
    The “influentials of Herat province” have asked for the completion of various projects including the new railway, according to a 14 October 2014 announcement from the new President. President Ahmadzai …
  • Opening of the Khyber railway 12 October 2014
    The UK’s National Army Museum has this rather good photo of The opening of the Khyber railway, 1925. Photograph by Randolph Bezzant Holmes (1888-1973), India, North West Frontier, 1925. NAM Image Numb …
  • Kushka to Ashkhabad trains 5 October 2014
    To Kushka by Camel is an excellent December 2009 article by Isaac Scarborough describing trains on the Kuskha (Serhetabat) to Ashkhabad route in Turkmenistan. For incomprehensible reasons, however, th …
  • Afghan railway station codes created 29 September 2014
    The Afghanistan Railway Authority (AfRA), following the creation of Afghanistan Country Code, for the first time in history of the country, has created Codes for the Afghanistan Railway Stations on th …

Sound mirrors

  • Surviving sound mirrors discovered on White Cliffs of Dover 15 October 2014
    A press release from the National Trust about the Fan Bay sound mirrors: 14 September 2014 One of the UK’s oldest surviving sound mirrors discovered on White Cliffs of Dover A historic First World War …
  • Fan Bay mirror emerges 27 September 2014
    The #soundmirror emerging from the chalk at fan bay. @WCCPnews @UpontheDowns #whitecliffs — Paul Holt (@pholt3) September 27, 2014
  • 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 …

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 sig …

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 …