Brunel's Pumping House
Originally uploaded by budgie2007 / Rich B..
Opened in 1847, Brunel's Atmospheric Railway did away with the need for a separate locomotive on each train. Instead, there were pumping stations such as this one at Starcross. It was unsuccessful but the principle was sound. No doubt Brunel would have jumped at the chance to power his trains by electricity from a fixed power station. That would have solved his problem but the technology was not to come for another thirty years. Seemingly the British government has not yet grasped what the benefits are. What is it with the UK government that they are so often unable to make sound decisions where matters of technology are involved?