Further Information / Reviews

The Railway Metropolis: How Planners, Politicians and Developers Shaped Modern London

About the Author:

Michael Schabas has been involved in London’s railways since 1988, and has played leading roles in shaping several major rail projects. He has published many articles in trade and professional journals, and tells the “inside stories” with the passions and insights of a career planning and operating railways in Britain and around the world.

Reviewed by Stuart Ross, Arup, UK


The book is a fascinating read for all who use or are involved in the railways, particularly civil engineers. As London’s Crossrail project reaches completion, the book provides a useful reference of past successes and failures when considering the future of the UK capital’s vital public transportation network.

The book describes the development of London’s railways from World War II, with detailed accounts of High Speed One, Docklands Light Railway, Jubilee line extension, London Overground, Thameslink and Crossrail.

The interface of the city’s railways with an ever-changing political climate, plus comprehensive technical details and good use of graphics and photographs, ensures a complete picture of how the network has developed. The book also describes some of the abandoned ideas and schemes that never made it to the stage of breaking ground.

Although there is a focus on London, many of the issues and challenges described will apply to cities across the globe. Overall it is an extremely enjoyable read and one that can be recommended to construction industry professionals and anyone with a general interest in railways.


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