The award was announced on the evening of Friday, April 26.

British Rail(ways) created some of the most distinctive and widely-recognised design imagery in post-war Britain – but there was often a significant difference between the way its image was imagined by professional designers and the ways it was actually experienced by passengers and other users.

Such trade-offs between design ideals and their manifestations are explored for the first time in Bruce Peter’s book, The Changing Face of British Railways, which covers many aspects of BR’s activities.

The books is based on extensive original research with many illustrations. It provides new insights into the British railway scene and design in Britain more generally.

Professor Peter’s book won both the Railway History Book of the Year award and was also the 2019 overall winner of the Transport History Book of the Year. He will hold the David St John Thomas silver trophy for the next 12 months.

Announcing the award the judges said: “Bruce Peter certainly breaks new ground for transport historians by presenting design as a cultural phenomenon, viewed from multiple perspectives.

“He also presents us with a review of the evolution of how design was thought about over the entire period of BR’s existence and over the whole range of its multifarious activities.”



Glasgow School of Art

Railway and Canal Historical Society