A Dream Revisited

Subtitled an Archival Journey into the Making of the Delhi Metro Rail, this book gives an account of the history, planning, routes and technology of the Indian capital’s metro from its inception to the opening ceremony. The trials and tribulations of the project are described, from the controversy over the adoption of broad gauge and the selection of con-sultants to the design of the rolling stock.

Public relations and information management was important to the success of the scheme, and in his introduction Managing Director Elattuvalapil Sreedharan expresses a belief that ’the print media’s prompt reporting, probing queries, introspective writing and detailed coverage have undoubtedly played a major role in the success of the on-going construction’. A major part of the book comprises contemporary reports from the Indian media covering the construction of the metro.

The 256-page hardback is illustrated throughout in full colour, with many photographs recording the routes, equipment and the people involved at every stage of the construction. Maps show the various proposed routes and the city’s planned final network.

Delhi Metro Rail Corp, NBCC Place, Bhishma Pitamah Marg, Pragati Vihar, New Delhi 110003, India


The Blame MachineWhy Human Error Causes Accidents

by R B Whittingham

IN THE aftermath of an accident there can be a tendency to suggest a cause and attribute blame quickly, and often the focus is on human error. An investigation should seek the underlying reasons why the errors were made, but in what the author calls ’the blame machine’ an organisation’s culture can direct attention onto individuals rather than systematic faults, hampering a proper investigation.

This 270-page book by a former railway safety consultant provides a readable overview of safety in the air, maritime, chemical and nuclear industries as well as railways. Rather than studying the psychological causes of accidents, the book looks at system faults which can make errors more likely, identifying root as well as direct causes of particular incidents.

The first section of the book looks at types of error, and the second provides a range of case studies. In his chapter on organisation and management errors Whittingham is critical of the fragmentation of Britain’s railways at privatisation and the ensuing loss of knowledge and a ’controlling mind’.

The chapter on maintenance errors considers latent errors leading to the Hatfield and Potters Bar derailments. A whole chapter is devoted to active errors in railway operations, and details the accidents at Clapham Junction, Purley, Southall and Ladbroke Grove.

A chapter on incident response errors includes flaws in how the fire on a Channel Tunnel freight shuttle was handled, and an appendix provides a brief outline of different forms of train protection systems.

ISBN 0-7506-5510-0

ú29·85 from Elsevier Books Customer Services, Linacre House, Jordan Hill, Oxford, OX2 8DP, UK

Tel: +44 1865 474100

Scenic Britain by Train

The Association of Community-Rail Partnerships has sponsored the second edition of this little booklet, which aims to promote leisure travel on 24 of the most attractive railway routes in the UK.

Descriptions and photographs of local scenery and attractions are accompanied by route maps and contact details for tourist information centres. A tear-out freepost form is provided so that readers can request further details of places of interest.

The 36-page booklet is being distributed free of charge to tourist information and travel centres in the UK, and is also available by post.

Transport Marketing Ltd, Scenic Britain by Train 2004, Freepost, 5 Coppice Close, Cheswick Green, Solihull, B90 4HX, UK