How Railways changed Britain – A New Social and Economic History

£ 12.50


Hardback ISBN 978 0 901461 63 6    h = 250mm, w = 175mm, 232 pages

Illustrations: 25 colour, 25 b&w, 3 maps


Railways played a pivotal role in changing the nature of Britain and of British life. In a mere 30 years following the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway, the country was transformed with astonishing speed and they became the symbol of the age. Travel was no longer at the pace of a horse, few towns of any size were remote from rail communication. Goods could be moved great distances with relative ease. Holidays in once distant resorts became feasible, and innovation replaced stagnation.

This book celebrates that change in a new and different way, with contributions by a team of authors whose pooled knowledge and enthusiasm is boundless. They look at railways in the context of social and economic history in a way that helps one think again. Subjects covered include the era before the first main lines, the role of railways in Britain’s transition to modernity, the ‘Leisure Revolution’, the financing of railways, urban expansion, the changing relationship between government and railways, employment history, railways in the country and their impacts as a business enterprise on the economy and society.

How Railways Changed Britain was conceived and edited by David St John Thomas, author and publisher. It is dedicated to his memory, as sadly he died during the final stages of its preparation.