Innovation on the Railways: The Lag in Diesel and Electric traction

Innovation on the Railways: The Lag in Diesel and Electric traction

Why did British railway companies continue to rely on steam locomotives for half a century after diesel and electric traction had become available? The Southern Railway electrified much of its route between 1920 and 1939, but its success had little influence on other lines. This article analyses many reasons for this, but concludes that the most important was conservatism among railwaymen, and the author advocates more recruitment of managerial staff from outside the profession.

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