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review Railways and the Raj: How the Age of Steam Transformed India é PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Read Æ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ë Christian Wolmar

Railways and the Raj How the Age of Steam Transformed IndiaRather was a means for the colonial power to govern the huge country under its control serving its British economic and military interests   By building India's railways Britain radically changed the nation but also unwittingly created the preconditions of independence While the railways benefited India and were its first modern development their construction ultimately contributed to a stirring of nationalist opinion as resentment grew and the Raj PDFEPUB #231 among the Indian population over the conditions they endured when travelling by train and the barring of Indians from t. This is a good introduction for anyone that has travelled in the extraordinary network of railways in India and wants to find out about how they came into existence and developed and became part of the Indian way of life

Read Railways and the Raj: How the Age of Steam Transformed India

review Railways and the Raj: How the Age of Steam Transformed India é PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ú ❰EPUB❯ ✺ Railways and the Raj: How the Age of Steam Transformed India Author Christian Wolmar – India was the jewel in the crownHe better paid railway jobs   Despite the dubious intentions behind the construction of the network the Indian people uickly took to the railways as the trains allowed them to travel easily for the first time The Indian Railways network remains one of the largest in the world serving over million passengers each day   In this expertly told history Christian Wolmar reveals the full story and the Raj How the Epubof India's railways from its very beginnings to the present day and examines the cheuered role they have played in Indian history and the creation of today's modern state. It is a fascinating book I bought it for my husband and he loves it so much I have bought some from this author They all are worth to read

Christian Wolmar Ë 5 review

India was the jewel in the crown the Raj eBook #9734 of the British Empire There were vast riches to be exploited and vast numbers of people to be subjugated How better to achieve these aims than by building a rail network that facilitated the export of raw material and made it easier for troops to travel around the country to tackle uprisings   India joined the railway age late the first line was not completed until but bymiles of track served the country Railways and EpubHowever the creation of this vast network was not intended to modernise India for the sake of its people but. A fascinating subject and featured Steve McCurry's glorious photo on the cover I was looking forward to this book Unfortunately it's marred by the author's strong political bias that permeates every chapter There's a repetitive and insistent tone of hostility towards capitalism The author clearly thinks state control is the only way to run a railway There's also the familiar British leftie's hostility towards the Raj which seems excessive given that railways are one of its positive legacies I also think the author is fundamentally wrong on two points1 India's railway network was built with British capital and engineering and developed an impressive and extensive network far earlier than anywhere else in Asia and surely far earlier than if India had miraculously avoided other colonisers and remained independent though whether Mughul rule ualifies as independent is moot Yet the author concludes that because the Raj guaranteed British investors a fixed rate of return on their capital then the financial burden for building the railways fell on Indian taxpayers Yet Indian taxpayers would only be on the hook for the potential shortfall between actual profits and the guaranteed rate of the return which at worst would be a tiny percentage of the railways' overall cost and at best nothing at all The Indian railways represented a massive export of British capital to India and the benefits accrued to rulers and ruled alike The guarantees allowed the British to build a vast network at very little cost to Indians2 If conditions for lower class passengers were so terrible in British India with its profit seeking railway companies then why hasn't independence 73 years of Indian state control improved matters The hordes of passengers travelling on rooftops or hanging off the side of carriages may have declined since the 1980s but passengers on the cheapest fares are still transported like cattle The truth both during the Raj and today is that low fares make the railways accessible for India's poor If fares were raised to pay for better conditions there'd likely by riots The only other option is to subsidise them to the hilt which will mean ordinary Indians are hit with the cost in another way The author flirts with admitting this obvious reality but his political leanings prevent him from stating it explicitly Instead he just blames rapacious capitalismIndependent India has done a good job of standardising track gauges replacing old bridges and extending the network despite the strains of enormous growth in population and demand But Indian railways are far further behind world standards now than they were in 1947 For this reason I struggle to fully chime with the celebratory tone of the penultimate chapterLastly I was hoping to learn about the engineering challenges and solutions I'm especially interested in the immensely long bridges necessary to span the subcontinent's rivers that flood during the monsoon The book is light on detail here and on page 242 the author tells us that the Kalabagh Bridge over the Indus was the longest railway bridge built before 1947 In fact it isn't the longest British railway bridge in Pakistan and across British India as a whole the 945m Kalabagh Bridge wouldn't make the top 20 by length This is a minor uibble but the author needs to get these facts right or be very clear if he's making a specific claim I would have liked to learn about India's railway engineering challenges generallyThough I don't regret my purchase or time invested in reading the book I doubt I'll buy another by this author It's a shame because he's surely Britain's best selling railway historian and his volume on the Trans Siberian had hitherto piued my interest I found his constant political spin detracted from what could have been a straightforwardly balanced railway history