What is on this site...

On this site you will find a few published (but little known) works that that haven't seen the light of day in formal print. These may or may not have been updated, so please just take them 'as is'.

You will also find some articles or books that have been started but remain incomplete; again, to be taken 'as is'. There is also some information about various books of mine, plus additions and corrections.

Please regard all this very much as 'Work in Progress'; it is all liable to frequent adjustment and updating.

You are welcome to view the documents and provided you acknowledge the source you may use the information in accordance with normal copyright conditions. The documents themselves may not be printed or downloaded.

What's new?

I have added some blocks below to advise of specific updates I make. There will usually be the last five on display. I hope this is helpful. I have now added another block (in yellow) indicating what is new on my blog.


Updated 17 June
My essay on the subject of British main line railway rulebooks is being much-overhauled (at last) and a new draft has been posted. More to do in coming weeks.

Updated 10 June
New item in District Railway Essays section about the History of the MDR offices and 55 Broadway. This has been adapted and enlarged from an old blog item and a talk I gave last year. This is still work in progress and I think I am likely to be adding further new material in due course.

Updated 1 June
In my section on publications available on line (Research/Readable online) I have placed a slightly updated version of my 2009 book 'A Century of Change', but now renamed 'The Evolution of British Railways 1909-2009'

Updated 14 May
History of Automatic Fare Collection essay significantly updated. Still more to add as information becomes available

Updated 3 April
New item in my District Railway section about District Railway animals.

Updated 24 March
I have added more (I kid you not) to my item about the gigantic wheel at Earls Court, which may be found in my District Railway pages. I will be adding some further technical material later in the week. Do try and contain yourselves.

Updated 4 March
After many years of studied inactivity I have thoroughly revised my inventory of large scale District Railway maps and brought it up to date so far as I can. There are still some inconsistencies to sort out but even now it is much better than my 2012 offering. I have also put the main links in my District Railway pages (but left the original link as well).


Mike Horne's Blog Updated 1 May
London's first underground railway had two brushes with the prison authorities, nearly having to go into building a prison in the fisrt instance, and obtaining power to take over a second on another, with consequential need to expand a third. This blog item explains the circumstances.

Mike Horne's Blog Updated 29 April
In 1912 the Central London Railway tested what was hoped to be a revolutionary new form of lighting, invented by an electrical engineer called Daniel McFarlan Moore. This post explains what this was all about and laments this engineer is not better known.

Mike Horne's Blog Updated 20 March
The new automatic signalling is in use between Hammersmith and Latimer Road. I offer a brief report of my visit during its first week.

Mike Horne's Blog Updated 18 February
Some adjustments made to my blog item A Line to Nowhere about the Chessington branch, and a couple of helpful aerial photos added.

Mike Horne's Blog Updated 29 December
Following publication of the latest London Underground diagram I discuss the relative advantages and disadvantages of the latest innovation — the showing of interchanging involving a walk between station of under ten minutes, and about the hesitant history this has. That leads to some further observations about whether the 9-inch by 3-inch format, now overwhelmed by clutter, might not have reached the end of its life in this form and how some of it needs rethinking. It is not the 'icon' it was.

What's the photo?

It is the roof of the new part of King's Cross station. I quite like it. Let's face it, it has to be better than the squalid 1970's concourse area...

Related resources?

There is the inevitable blog, which I try and keep topical but it get refreshed in fits and starts. It may be found here: Mike Horne Blog; this will open a new web page, or at least a new tab. Items currently topical, as well as the archive, are listed on my 'other stuff' pages. I can also be found at @machorne.

Many files are in pdf format...

So you will need a pdf reader. If you do not have a pdf reader on your computer, you will need Acrobat (or another PDF) Reader in order to view them. You can download a free reader from Adobe. When reading the files use Page Up and Page Down for navigation.

I am aware that some Firefox users may have a problem with accurately resolving images in pdf files owing to a bug with Firefox's dedicated pdf viewer. It is to be hoped this will be fixed shortly. Firefox can be configured to open pdfs using Adobe reader if the bug becomes intolerable, but it isn't something that relates particularly to pdfs from this site.

Contact the Author

If you have any queries about this site, or any observations about its contents, or can help with any information, then the author will be delighted to hear from you. To reduce the risk of receiving spam, please click on the button below; this will bring up a 'Contact Me' form that is configured to send me an email, and I will respond in due course. (I will of course let you have my email address in the response in the event that you wish to send me something not convenient to pass across by means of the form.)

Why Metadyne?

The metadyne is an intriguing type of electrical machine, akin to a rotating amplifier, and is particularly suited to heavy duty operation where constant voltage input needs to be converted into a constant current (but adjustable) output. The contrived name comes from the greek 'dynamis', meaning power. The machine had was found to be useful for certain types of drive mechanism, including gun turrets and cranes, and to a lesser extent, traction; under this name it was developed in the 1930s and 40s by Metropolitan Vickers and was a development of the earlier Amplidyne machine developed in America.

Whilst there are all kinds of stories I could offer you as to why it is relevant to this site, actually I was after a fairly ambiguous name and just liked it!

Search this site

search engine by freefind (includes adverts) advanced

Alternative navigation links.

Alternative link to Research Work

Alternative link to Books

Alternative link to Rail Index

Alternative link to Other Stuff

Alternative link to Mike's Blog

Alternative link to District Railway Pages