Author Archives: admin

National Express seals takeover of rival operator Stagecoach

National Express and rival Stagecoach have sealed an all-share deal that will forge a £1.9bn transport operating group.

The proposed merger is expected to be completed in late 2022, bringing Stagecoach’s UK local bus operations together with National Express’s intercity coach network.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/dec/14/national-express-seals-takeover-of-rival-operator-stagecoach

David Buick: the motoring pioneer who lost everything

As inventors go, David Dunbar Buick is up there with the best of them.

During his lifetime, he came up with a lawn-sprinkler system, a toilet flushing device and a way to enamel cast-iron sinks and bathtubs, a process which is still used to this day,

But his greatest claim to fame was the creation of a vehicle which was to become the foundation of one of the world’s biggest car producers, General Motors.

More than 50 million vehicles have carried the name of Buick over the past century.

But despite making not just one, but two fortunes, he was to end up virtually penniless.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-56459341

HRT&MH Meet the Archivist 24 June – Philip Kirk

The final seminar in this year’s Institute of Historical Research Transport & Mobility History series is on Thursday 24 June, and is a ‘Meet the Archivist’ session:

Philip Kirk: the Bus Archive
Thursday 24 June, 5.30pm BST

As ever, the ‘Meet the Archivist’ session allows you the chance to find out more about what a particular archive holds, and to quiz the archivist. Come along to this session to find out more about the extensive collections held across the Bus Archive’s locations.

Please register in advance, here: https://www.history.ac.uk/events/meet-archivist-bus-archive

All best wishes – we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this session.

Dr Mike Esbester
University of Portsmouth
Associate Editor, Journal of Transport History     @JTransportHist
Co-leader, ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’ project: www.railwayaccidents.port.ac.uk   @RWLDproject
Latest publication: ‘Digital Disasters: Crowd-sourcing the railway accident’ in Transport & its Place in History. Making the Connections (ed. D Turner, Routledge, 2020)

John Scholes Prize 2021

From Mike Esbester:

I’m pleased to let you know that the John Scholes Transport History Prize competition for 2021 is open, with a deadline for submissions of 31 July 2021.

The prize, consisting of £150 of vouchers to spend with SAGE, is awarded annually to the writer of a publishable paper based on original research into any aspect of the history of transport and mobility. The prize is intended to recognise budding transport historians. It may be awarded to the writer of one outstanding article, or be divided between two or more entrants. Typically, the prize is awarded for research completed as part of a PhD.

Publication in the Journal of Transport History will be at the discretion of the Editor and subject to the normal refereeing process.

The prize is named in memory of John Scholes, the first Curator of Historical Relics at the British Transport Commission. The prize is supported by SAGE, publishers of the Journal of Transport History.

Entry is limited to researchers who, at the time of submission, are not yet in or have just commenced a permanent / tenured academic (or equivalent) position, and who are just starting to publish research.

Essays (in English, double-spaced) should not exceed 8,000 words (including footnotes). Sources must be documented fully. Entries must be submitted electronically, to arrive no later than 31 July 2021.

They must not bear any reference to the author or institutional affiliation. Senior scholars will judge entries against criteria of originality, thoroughness and excellence of argument, source use, composition and illustration. The process is ‘double-blind’. The judges will not enter into correspondence.

A cover letter and a one-page CV must demonstrate eligibility for the prize. Entries for the prize should be sent to the JTH Editor at jth.editor@gmail.com. The subject line of the message must read ‘John Scholes Prize entry 2021’. In the body of the message please indicate how you found out about the prize.

The full call for submissions is here: https://journals.sagepub.com/page/jth/john-scholes-prize

Please feel free to circulate widely.

Best wishes,

Dr Mike Esbester

University of Portsmouth

Associate Editor, Journal of Transport History     @JTransportHist

Co-leader, ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’ project: www.railwayaccidents.port.ac.uk   @RWLDproject

Vancouver Island-based firms switching to electric transport trucks

Two big Vancouver Island-based firms switching to electric transport trucks

Charging stations for Tesla Semis to be built for Quality Foods and Mosaic Forest Management,

Two major Vancouver Island companies are planning to electrify their semi-truck fleets in an effort to reduce their environmental footprint.

https://www.comoxvalleyrecord.com/business/two-big-vancouver-island-based-firms-switching-to-electric-transport-trucks/

Electric busmaker Arrival schedules first UK road trial

Electric buses built by Arrival, the UK-based manufacturer, will be tested on British roads for the first time later this year in a trial with the transport company First Group.

The tests will begin in the autumn of this year, starting with four of the first production vehicles produced at Arrival’s research and development facility in Banbury, Oxfordshire. Discussions are under way about further trials with other companies.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/feb/21/electric-busmaker-arrival-schedules-first-uk-road-trial

The fastest snow plough in the west

Jet-powered snow plow once deployed on B.C. highways

Powerful truck was fitted with a Pratt and Whitney ST6A turbine turboprop engine.

It might sound like a harebrained Homer Simpson creation, but a jet-powered snow plow once existed and was temporarily put to work on B.C. highways.

According to a bit of local highways maintenance history, recently re-shared by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on its Facebook page, in the early 1960s, the province experimentally fitted a 285-lb ST6A turbine turboprop engine, manufactured by Pratt and Whitney Canada, into a snow plow. The result was a 31,100-lb (unloaded) truck that ran on diesel (but could also run on furnace oil and gasoline), and put out 320 horsepower.

By comparison, the typical truck used weighed 2,000 lbs and put out 250 horsepower.

 

IHR Transport & Mobility History seminar – 14 January 2021

Dear All,

Hope you’re keeping well, especially under present conditions.

Next week sees the first of this term’s seminars in the Institute of Historical Research ‘Transport & Mobility History’ series – all are welcome, though you will need to book in advance.

The seminar (and all others for this term) will take place via Zoom. Once registered, you will be sent an email containing the link to the seminar ahead of the session. All are welcome.

Thursday 14 January 2021, 5.30pm

Georgina Lockton (Science Museum Group/ University of Leicester)

The Driverless Car in 1960s Britain

This paper examines the origins of the driverless car in Britain by taking an object-centred approach. I use the Road Research Laboratory’s Citroen DS19 as a case study, modified in the 1960s to run in a driverless mode. I discuss the method I devised for using objects as historical sources and apply it to the example of the DS19, which currently rests in the collections of the Science Museum, London. What can be learnt about the history of vehicle automation from looking directly at the car as an artefact and what can documentary sources add to the story? The paper answers these questions by providing a history of the driverless car, including how it worked and why vehicle automation was researched in Britain during the 1960s. 

Register here: https://www.history.ac.uk/events/driverless-car-1960s-britain

With best wishes for the new year,

Mike

Dr Mike Esbester

mike.esbester@port.ac.uk

University of Portsmouth

Associate Editor, Journal of Transport History     @JTransportHist

Co-leader, ‘Railway Work, Life & Death’ project: www.railwayaccidents.port.ac.uk   @RWLDproject

Latest publication: ‘Digital Disasters: Crowd-sourcing the railway accident’ in Transport & its Place in History. Making the Connections (ed. D Turner, Routledge, 2020)