Sunday, 30 August 2015

Inspiration and Ideas: Transport Books

Looking for more book reviews or reading suggestions? Follow posts tagged "Inspiration and Ideas"...
Being a rail engineer, I read plenty of books about transport (as previously noted, these are not usually the ones featuring steam trains!) So here are my current favourites:

1) Planning Sustainable Transport, Barry Hutton (Routledge, 2014)
This is currently my favourite book about transport, because it really opened my mind to concepts that make a great deal of sense but are rarely discussed. For example, consider the space budget, beautifully illustrated by this sequence of images showing how much space 200 people take up in 170 cars, two buses, on foot or bike or on a tram. Or, consider how transport planning usually assumes that people have a fixed start and end point and a choice of the way in which you get there. This isn't actually true, for example out-of-town shopping centres which assume you travel by car: people avoid congestion in central York by changing their destination as well! So land use is intimately linked to transport options, but are usually considered completely separately.

2) Railpolitick: Bringing Railways Back to the Community, Paul Salveson (Laurel and Wishart, 2013). Paul Salveson is a fascinating railway expert, having conceived the Community Rail Partnership idea and implemented it around the country, worked for Northern and got an MBE for services to rail. I hope to meet him some day...
Following an overview of rail history, privatisation and how we got to the state we're in now, this is a book about how rail makes a difference to communities both large and small, from the national network down to branch lines where the local station has become a hub for community services.

3) Asset Management, and its partner International Case Studies in Asset Management, both by Chris Lloyd (ICE Publishing, 2014)
These two books are a great overview of why asset management matters, and how it has been implemented across different industries and regulatory regimes. There's lots of practical tips for engineers trying to promote a culture of targeted investment for long term gain in all our major infrastructure types.

4) The Intercity Story: 1962 to 2012, Chris Green and Mike Vincent
This is a well-illustrated coffee table book which explains how long distance train travel has morphed over the last fifty years, including a detailed analysis of the privatised franchises and how their fortunes have fared. There are lots of useful facts and figures, and the book aims to be a fairly objective review of how the rail industry has developed. However, it's worth noting that the book was supported by various railway companies, and hence does not allow itself to be too critical of the way things are now, so I recommend reading alongside Paul Salveson to get both sides of the story.

5) Urban Transport Without the Hot Air, Steve Melia, UIT Cambridge
I thought I'd finish with one book that's still on my "To Read" list, which provides an overview of transport issues (similar to Barry Hutton's book) followed by case studies from places like Cambridge and Groningen. Meanwhile here's a great review by Jeremy Williams to whet your appetite! The key points of the book are also summarised in a series of videos here.

See Also:

No comments:

Post a Comment