Book review: Eastern European Railways in Transition: Nineteenth to Twenty-First Centuries, by R. Roth and H. Jacolin

Derek Hall reviews this  volume edited by Ralf Roth and Henry Jacolin, comprising of papers presented at the September 2009 International Railway History Association’s conference in Bratislava.

Eastern European Railways

Hall (2014) commends the increased access to knowledge of the development of the railways in Eastern Europe facilitated by this edited volume. He highlights that the book has a clearly defined introductory chapter and is then organised into three sections which first provide historical context, then examine the influence of non-economic factors…[during]…the life of the Soviet Union’, eventually considering the new problems and opportunities in relation to railways in Eastern Europe post 1989. In relation to the third section Hall brings the reader’s attention to two chapters of particular appeal, these draw on oral histories from the 1950s and 1960s. Though, largely complementary highlighting that this is ‘a useful work for dipping into’, one element that Hall emphasises as missing from the volume is a concluding chapter which he claims adds to the overall feel of a selection of essays as opposed to an integrated volume. He also criticises elements of the formatting in particular the legibility of some figures. In conclusion, however, Hall re-emphasises the increased access to knowledge of Eastern European railways facilitated through this text and highlights opportunity for further research in this area.

A copy of the review is available here, with the kind permission of Elsevier. It  is also available via Science Direct.

This article was published in The Journal of Transport Geography, Vol 36, Derek Hall, Eastern European Railways in Transition: Nineteenth to Twenty-First Centuries, R. Roth, H. Jacolin. Ashgate, Farnham (2013). £75.00, Hbk, ISBN: 9781409427827, p.160, Copyright Elsevier (2014).

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