From Cold War to Coal Trains: TOPS – British Railways first computer based train operating system

Posted: August 6th, 2018
When:
December 5, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
2018-12-05T19:00:00+00:00
2018-12-05T21:00:00+00:00
Where:
BIRMINGHAM ThinkTank, Birmingham Science Museum,
Curzon St
Birmingham B4 7XG
UK
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Secretary

A lecture by Jonathan Aylen

This paper jointly written Jonathan Aylen, Vice President of the Newcomen Society, and Bob Gwynne of the National Railway Museum reports on British Rail’s adoption of a real-time, nationwide computer system in the early 1970’s to control its freight traffic. It gives a new view of British Rail, keen to modernise and adopt modern management practices.  The radical American technology was based on know-how from a Cold War air defence system designed to protect the US from Soviet bombers.  Based on interviews and new archive sources, the paper unfolds the unknown story of how British Rail brought advanced telecommunications and modern digital techniques to the task of overhauling its elderly goods network.

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    'TOPS - British Rail's 1st Computerised Train Operating System'

    Wed 5 December 7pm @thinktankmuseum Our next FREE talk provided by @Newcomen_Mid & @BM_AG

    Thanks @railwaymuseum @BCLM @svrofficialsite @GWSR @ChasewaterRail @LlanfairLine @MidlandRailway @ComputerHistory @BCS

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