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 29 December and 13 January
Inventory of LT Signal Boxes and Interlockings revised to current information. Entries beginning A-Q have been entirely re-checked and revised with sources now given (though there are still a small number of mysteries). Rest will follow in due course.

Updated 28 November
Further revisions and additions to my essay about main line railway rule books .

Updated 6 November
Some pictures added to my TV and Radio Annoyances.
A new page added to District Railway Research, and direct link put in to District Railway book additions and corrections.

Updated 3 November
I have added a new page to my District Railway history section. This enlarges on the reference in my book to Cleopatra's Needle and the proposal to set it up in Parliament Square over the railway tunnel. In fact a wooden mock up was installed there, and I include an engraving. You can get straight to it HERE. Less fascinating, is that I have ditched the proprietary 'Contact Me' page for one of my own devising. So far, touch wood, it seems to work and avoids a load of grief (I have had to change my metadyne email account following the company I was using having been taken over by someone more voracious. What a hassle this creates).

Updated 20 October
I have added to my research articles an item about closed stations with a handy diagram showing over 50 locations on the London Underground. You can go direct to it HERE

Updated 24 September
New photo added to my Tower Hill and the Roman Wall item under District Railway history


Mike Horne's Blog Updated 27 February
Trafalgar Square Post Office, noted for having the longest counter in Europe and for many years open 24 hours a day, is now but a memory. Some notes here from one with fond memories of the place. You can get to it directly from HERE.

Mike Horne’s Blog Updated 24 December
If I said that London Transport’s original operating area was a consequence of an expected shortage of electricity in London, you might be rather surprised. However, no book I've seen actually explains how this historic area was selected, so I decided to look into it and then attack my keyboard, a blog item resulting. You can get to it directly from HERE.

Mike Horne's Blog Updated 27 September
Travel agents Thomas Cook & Son Ltd began an ended its life as a private company but during WW2 became owned by Britains four main line railways and in 1948 was nationalized. It remained in government control till 1972. This blog explains the circumstances of national ownership, which do not appear to have had wide coverage

Mike Horne’s Blog Updated 6 August
Luminous Trains. In late Victorian times experiments were made to improve carriage illumination, including compartment lighting using luminous paint. Certain carriages actually ran on the London Underground in this state.

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 first instance, and obtaining power to take over a second on another, with consequential need to expand a third. This blog item explains the circumstances.

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!

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