During The First World War, the railways of Great Britain were effectively nationalised and put under Government control. Run for the benefit of the armed services, with minimal investment and much of the workforce conscripted, the railways paid the price for their war service. Many ships were commandeered and never returned, some lost, others unfit for service at the end of the war, while yet others were retained by the navy. The railway workshops were turned over to war work, building hospital trains, armaments and munitions, the railway ports were heavily utilised while the tracks themselves, especially in the south of England, were turned over for military use. An interesting insight into Blighty's Railways at their peak. The story of Britain's railways at war is an untold one and the sheer scale of the railway contribution to the winning of the war is amazing and important.
Alexander J Mullay lives in Edinburgh. He has written many books, including Railway Ships at War, Streamlined Steam and a history of Scotland's Railways.