University of York
Institute of Railway Studies and Transport History

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News & events

History and policy | Commercial cultures | Bursaries | Research Workshops | Teaching Programmes |

[-]Important Changes at the IRS&TH

On 23rd January 2014 the National Railway Museum, one of the Institute's partners, announced a reorganisation of the staffing structure of the National Railway Museum which will see the loss of the museum-funded post of Professor of Railway Studies. A new post of Head Curator is being created, which will take on some of the responsibilities of the current posts of Professor of Railway Studies and Head of Knowledge & Collections including playing an active role in the Institute.

Both the National Railway Museum and the University of York remain fully committed to continuing a formal collaboration and will continue to work closely together to support research and learning in the field of railways. This will include looking at opportunities for broadening the range of academic disciplines, beyond history, that might contribute to appropriate joint research and scholarship as part of this partnership. The University of York will also continue to offer a range of academic provision for courses in railway studies.

As a result of these changes, Colin Divall will finish as head of the Institute on 14th February 2014 and take early retirement. He will continue (on a part-time basis) as professor of railway studies in the University of York until November 2015, solely to supervise existing research students.

The Institute's lectureship is not affected. Dr Sinha is currently on research leave until the summer of 2015.

The existing programme of research workshops will continue and plans for future workshops will be developed following recruitment of the new Head Curator.

No applications are currently being accepted for the Institute's teaching and research programmes. However, the Centre for Lifelong Learning is intending to offer a new postgraduate diploma in railway studies from the 2014-15 session.



[-] History and the future of mobility

The AHRC-funded series of three workshops, organized by Colin Divall along with Prof. Julian Hine of the University of Ulster and Prof. Colin Pooley of Lancaster University, on 'Mobility Cultures: Making a Usable Past for Transport Policy' has now finished. The workshops brought together transport historians and scholars in transport studies together with journalists and professionals from the transport industries, policy and consultancy. The papers from the first workshop, Marketing Im/Mobilty, are now available.

An additional workshop was held at the National Railway Museum in September 2012. A collection of papers from the series is being prepared for publication.

Colin Divall's keynote address on globalization, history and the future of mobility, given to the Association of Business Historians' annual meeting in York in July 2010, has been published in the July 2012 issue of Business History. A webcam of the talk is available.


[-] The Commercial Cultures of Britain's Railways 1872-1977

The AHRC-funded project on the commercial cultures of Britain's railways has now concluded. The project, which started in November 2008, analyses the ways in which the railways developed marketing, advertising and branding to encourage the consumption of railway travel in three critical periods in their history - the late Victorian period, when third-class travel became widespread, the inter-war years, when the railways faced increasingly stiff road competition, and the 1960s and 1970s when the motorway network brought a further intensification of road competition. A free i-phone app - The Train Line - based on the research is available for travellers on East Coast mainline services.


[-] HMRS Bursaries

The Historical Model Railway Society funds a number of bursaries for IRS&TH students. These awards, which are given by the Society on the advice of the Institute, are of varying values of up to £1000 each. For further information, please contact the co-ordinator for the programme in which you are interested.


[-]Research workshops

The programme of 2013-14 Research Workshops is now available. Please note that owing to the withdrawal of funding by the National Railway Museum, no more workshops are planned after the end of the current programme.


[-]Teaching and research programmes

The distance-learning Certificates in Railway Studies and in Transport History are no longer available to new students. However the Centre for Lifelong Learning is introducing a new on-line postgraduate diploma in railway studies in the autumn of 2014.

The taught MA in Railway Studies & Transport History is not currently available. Enquiries about research degrees (MA, MPhil and PhD) are welcome, but we are not able to supervise any more students in the 2013-14 or 2014-15 sessions.



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IRS&TH / 11 Feb 14/CD