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June 2002
Founding of the LBR’s Schools at Wolverton
The Watford Tanks
LNWR Post Office Carriages (Part 1)
Royal Visit to Crewe 1913
Old Photographs
Monument Lane
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Power and Reward 1922
A Run in the ‘Problem’
My very own train
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the way forward. It was no purely theoretical document: Webb didn’t work that way; before committing himself to anything he investigated it thoroughly and if appropriate carried out necessary experiments. He believed the future lay in electrification, not as happened under BR but wholesale; rebuilding the West Coast Main Line to permit a maximum speed wherever possible of 100 mph. Move to the photographs page

To this end he had investigated the current state of electric traction and produced designs of suitable locomotives, trackside equipment, etc. He wanted to start by electrifying the Wolverton to Newport Pagnell branch as a test bed and proposed a programme for completing the scheme by 1914. If the LNWR Board had had the courage to carry out Webb’s ideas, even in part, railways in this country would not have had to play second fiddle – or worse – to road and would still be a force to be reckoned with. Webb did not overlook road transport: he was a pioneer motorist and acted as judge for some early trials, but he probably regarded the motor car more as a recreational vehicle than a serious rival to rail transport.


This little-known episode throws an interesting light on the breadth and depth of vision possessed by a man who was arguably the leading engineer of his day and completely demolishes the slanderous attitude to his work so often common among an earlier generation of railway historian.

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