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Radio 4: The Long View: Railways In A Time Of Recession.

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Interesting programme on Radio 4 looking at the Great Western Railway's problems in the recession of 1860 and comparing to National Express today. Some remarkable similarities. Programme also available on iPlayer.

'The Long View 04/08/2009':


Jonathan Freedland presents the series that looks for the past behind the present. Jonathan takes the Long View of the railways at a time of recession, asking what lessons can be learnt in our own time from the experience of the Great Western Railway in the 1860s.

A once-prestigious and highly-profitable enterprise, GWR had over-extended itself and the company faced bankruptcy. As debates rage over the future of the East Coast Main Line, Jonathan and guests compare the action taken to rescue the railways in the 19th century with the challenges faced today.

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