In the late nineteenth century, some of Britain's leading main-line railway companies threw caution to the winds in an attempt to provide the fastest passenger express services between London and Scotland. These became known as the 'races to the north'. There were two phases, in 1888 and 1895, and they spurred the building of new bridges across the Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay. David Wragg's gripping, detailed narrative tells the story of this famous commercial competition, and he fills in the background, which is no less interesting - the pioneering engineering of the steam age, the massive construction projects, the cut-throat battle for passengers and freight, and the deep inter-company rivalries that drove the rapid development of the railways during the Victorian period.
David Wragg has published several highly praised books on railway history, and he produced a textbook for the old Chartered Institute of Transport. He has also written on railways for the Sunday Telegraph, The Spectator, The Scotsman, and the Yorkshire Post. His Wartime on the Railways was reviewed by Rail as 'very readable' and by Railways Illustrated 'as a fascinating insight and also an important record', and Railways Illustrated chose his Southern Railway Handbook as 'Book of the Month'. His most recent publications include The Historical Dictionary of Railways in the British Isles, Commuter City: How the Railways Shaped London and Men of Steam.