The largest rail strike in 30 years is crippling the train network, causing disruption for millions as tens of thousands of staff walk out, demanding more money and better conditions. But is this a wider issue than a simple industrial dispute? After all, even in normal times we rarely stop moaning about late-running and ticket prices, and comparisons with trains in Germany and France leave us looking as if we’ve been backed into a siding. Today Phil and Roger hear from Christian Wolmar, whose new book 'British Rail' makes the case for re-nationalisation of the nation’s railways. What’s the destination for Britain’s trains? How do we get there? And will we arrive in time to make us all revert to public transport, as the risks of climate change mean we all need to park our cars and climb aboard a train?
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Christian Wolmar is a journalist, author, railway historian and Labour Party politician. He is known for his commentary on transport, especially as a pundit on Britain's railway industry, and was named Transport Journalist of the Year in the National Transport Awards in 2007. His latest book 'British Rail: A New History' (Penguin) tracks the rise and fall of the state-owned British Rail.