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George Revill

As the articles in this special section show, railways mark out urban experience in very distinctive ways. In the introduction, Steven D. Spalding makes plain there is no clear relationship between railway development and the shape and size of cities. For many cities, suburban rail travel has been either substantially insignificant or a relative latecomer as a factor in urban growth and suburbanization. Walking, tramways and the omnibus may indeed have had a much greater impact on built form, yet the cultural impact of railways on the city life should not be minimized. Iconic city stations are both objects of civic pride and socially heterogeneous gateways to the promise of a better urban life. The physical presence of substantial tracts of infrastructure, viaducts, freight yards and warehousing, divide and segregate residential districts encouraging and reinforcing status differentials between communities. Subways, metros, and suburban railways open on to the often grubby quotidian underbelly of city life whilst marking out a psychic divide between work and domesticity, city and suburb. Railways not only produced new forms of personal mobility but by defining the contours, parameters, and possibilities of this experience, they have come to help shape how we think about ourselves as urbanized individuals and societies. The chapters in this special section mark out some of this territory in terms of, for example: suburbanization, landscape, and nationhood (Joyce); the abstractions of urban form implicit in the metro map (Schwetman); the underground as a metaphor for the topologically enfolded interconnections of urban process (Masterson-Algar); and the competing lay and professional interests freighting urban railway development (Soppelsa). In the introduction Spalding is right to stress both the multiple ways that railways shape urban experience and the complex processes that continuously shape and re-shape urban cultures as sites of contest and sometimes conflict. As Richter suggests, in the nineteenth century only rail travel demanded the constant and simultaneous negotiation of both urban social disorder and the systematic ordering associated with large technological systems and corporate business. Thus “the railroad stood squarely at the crossroad of the major social, business, cultural and technological changes remaking national life during the second half of the nineteenth century.”

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The Emergence of the Bus Industry

Dutch Transport Policy during the Interwar Years

Ruud Filarski

During the interwar period, the emergence of the bus industry presented many governments with a dilemma: should they intervene in the market to establish a level playing field for fair competition between the buses and rail transport, should they protect the loss-making railways or should they take a laissez-faire approach to the developments?

At first glance, promoting fair competition or, as it was called during those days, a "co-ordination policy" seems relatively simple. The government could impose conditions on the bus industry, which regulated safety, quality, services, and allocation of the infrastructure costs in a similar way as the railways. However, an analysis of the developments in The Netherlands reveals a number of obstacles that complicated policy implementation.

Therefore, this article focuses on two questions: how did bus transport develop in The Netherlands? And what obstacles made it so difficult for the Dutch government to implement fair competition?

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Introduction

The Return of Transport Coordination

Gustav Sjöblom

The coordination of transport was heavily debated in the interwar period, as mechanized road traffic for the first time posed a serious challenge to the railways as the backbone of the transport system. The main issues of the interwar period bear resemblances with current challenges for transport policy, and historical studies may improve our understanding of contemporary transport coordination. This introduction sets the stage by discussing the concept of transport coordination and its historiography.

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Koos Fransen, Sean Peacock, Peter Wood, and Jie Zhang

Karel Martens, Transport Justice: Designing Fair Transportation Systems (New York: Routledge, 2017), 240 pp., 27 illustrations, $47.45

Nancy Cook and David Butz, eds., Mobilities, Mobility Justice and Social Justice (London: Routledge, 2019), 270 pp., 15 black-and-white illustrations, £115

Cosmin Popan, Bicycle Utopias: Imagining fast and slow bicycle futures (London: Routledge, 2019), 201 pp., £92.

Carlos López Galviz, Cities, Railways, Modernities: London, Paris, and the Nineteenth Century (New York: Routledge, 2019), 294 pp., 37 illus., £92

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Tarini Bedi

Discussions of the historiography of mobility, circulation, and transport in South Asia, a region that covers the modern nation-states of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the Maldives, Bhutan, and Tibet, must begin with an acknowledgment of what has shaped broader historical approaches to this area. I begin by offering a brief overview of the rich, but also dominant area of focus in South Asian transport history, namely, a focus on the history of railways and on the colonial period as a watershed in South Asian transport innovation. This overview provides context to recent shifts in the transport historiography of South Asia. While focus on the history of railways was concerned with technological and economic ramifications of transportation networks and with debates over colonial governance, recent work reviewed here highlights social, cultural, and political implications of transportation within precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial settings. These newer works in cultural, economic, and labor history, literary studies, ethnohistory, global history, and anthropology acknowledge the significance of railways and existing work in transport history.

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A. van den Hoven

Thanks to the kind cooperation of Mrs. Elise Harding-Davis, director of the North American Black Historical Museum and Cultural Centre, we are able to reproduce the score of this famous melody which features so prominently in Sartre’s Nausea. This museum is located in Amherstburg, Ontario, some thirty kilometers southwest of the Ambassador Bridge which links Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario. Shelton Brooks, who composed the melody in 1910, was a descendent of black slaves who made their way to freedom by way of “the underground railway” and settled in Southwestern Ontario.

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Yogesh Sharma, ed., Coastal Histories: Society and Ecology in Pre-Modern India Debojyoti Das

Jason Lim, A Slow Ride into the Past: The Chinese Trishaw Industry in Singapore 1942–1983 Margaret Mason

Xiang Biao, Brenda S.A. Yeoh, and Mika Toyota, eds., Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia Gopalan Balachandran

Ajaya Kumar Sahoo and Johannes G. de Kruijf, eds., Indian Transnationalism Online: New Perspectives on Diaspora Anouck Carsignol

Kieu-Linh Caroline Valverde, Transnationalizing Viet Nam: Community, Culture, and Politics in the Diaspora Yuk Wah Chan

Christine B.N. Chin, Cosmopolitan Sex Workers: Women and Migration in a Global City Lilly Yu and Kimberly Kay Hoang

David Walker and Agnieszka Sobocinska, eds., Australia's Asia: From Yellow Peril to Asian Century Daniel Oakman

Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond, 1869–1914 Vincent Lagendijk

Bieke Cattoor and Bruno De Meulder, Figures Infrastructures: An Atlas of Roads and Railways Maik Hoemke

Klaus Benesch, ed., Culture and Mobility Rudi Volti

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Yves Pourcher

As seen from France, World War I was first and foremost a matter of transporting men who had to be brought en masse to the front. This article describes the first departures and analyzes the sentiments they elicited: sadness, resignation, fear. Men climbed into the trains and went off to war: these first voyages were followed by countless others that bore little resemblance to those of August 1914. Wounded, exhausted, discouraged, and occasionally rebellious, soldiers passed through the railway stations, which had become the heart and soul of the country. In the towns, fear spread as supplies began to be scarce and living conditions deteriorated. Life unfolded to the rhythm of the passing trains until, at the end and in the aftermath of the war, other train cars arrived bearing those who had died.

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Leonid M. Goryushkin

Many earlier studies of the economic development of Siberia at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries presented an oversimplified view of the reality, and did not take account of the multifarious types of economic relationships or modes of production. Two collective works on the history of the Siberian peasantry and working class, published in the 1980s, demonstrate the complex and highly varied nature of the Siberian economy during the period studied. This included both small- and large-scale enterprises, concentration of capital, rapid expansion of the agricultural sector, huge population growth, significant foreign investment, co-operative associations and private artisan workshops, and the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway. Economic relationships comprised not only capitalist, but also small-scale commodity and even feudal structures. These were to some extent inter-active and inter-dependent, but the basic direction of development was towards capitalism, though at a slower pace than in European Russia.

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Yves Pourcher

As seen from France, World War I was first and foremost a matter of transporting men who had to be brought en masse to the front. This article describes the first departures and analyzes the sentiments they elicited: sadness, resignation, fear. Men climbed into the trains and went off to war: these first voyages were followed by countless others that bore little resemblance to those of August 1914. Wounded, exhausted, discouraged, and occasionally rebellious, soldiers passed through the railway stations, which had become the heart and soul of the country. In the towns, fear spread as supplies began to be scarce and living conditions deteriorated. Life unfolded to the rhythm of the passing trains until, at the end and in the aftermath of the war, other train cars arrived bearing those who had died.