Britain’s railways were key to the nation’s development – they helped facilitate the Industrial Revolution, the suburbs, commuter-lifestyle and popular holiday destinations. Writer and architectural historian Dan Cruickshank takes us back into a different world of steam trains and explores the fascinating successes and disasters that pushed their engineering forward showing the history that shaped Great Britain
Part 1: Steam
In Steam Revolution, Dan explores the earliest steam railways, discovering how railway pioneers George and Robert Stephenson created the first regular rail service from Manchester to Liverpool in 1830. He reveals how the early railway magnates won and lost fortunes in the investment bonanza that became known as Railway Mania and which created Britain s modern rail network
Part 2: Tunnel
In Tunnel Revolution, Dan explores the genius of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. As London and Bristol expanded, a fast route was needed between the two cities and that meant investing in the latest technology – the railway. Fortunately, the brilliant engineer Brunel had been forming his own vision of a new type of transport system whose watchwords would be ‘speed’ and ‘comfort’. His Great Western Railway would transform the experience of passenger rail travel.
Part 3: War
In War Revolution Dan focuses on the railways on the frontline. During the First World War, railways played a heroic role moving troops and supplies to the front. In the Second World War trains were crucial – moving troops and goods around Britain, particularly in the build up to D-Day