Wednesday, March 18, 2015
English French German Spanish


John Burnie: an appreciation (December 2009)

E-mail Print PDF

‘In our stable by the sea

five and twenty strong are we …’

starts one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poems, about railway engines in America. It could almost sum up the achievement of John Burnie, born 1946, who organised the Scottish Railway Museum at Bo’ness Station, and died of a heart attack at home in Dunfermline on 20 November 2009.

Read more...
 

Waiting for the Train (October 2009)

E-mail Print PDF

‘I waited for the train at Coventry;
I hung with grooms and porters on the bridge’
To watch the three tall spires; and there I shaped
The city’s ancient legend into this:- ’

Thus begins Alfred Tennyson’s ‘Lady Godiva’ and it – or Philip Larkin’s ‘Nothing, like something, happens anywhere’ flicks up in the brain when the train slows into Coventry’s New Brutalist platforms. I have made such journeys for forty years, in the 1960s as a railway enthusiast headed for Wales to work on narrow gauge railways. As we rebuilt the Festiniog line we could see the lorries trundling up to Trawsfynydd Power station, whose reactors would ‘make electricity so cheap you wouldn’t need to be billed for it’. Trawsfynydd has now been switched off for 13 years going on 30,000, but the Festiniog trains most of the engineers as the area now produces.

Read more...
 


Home > Transport