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The Railways

History Homework

Sam Cochrane

on 19 January 2013

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Transcript of The Railways

The Railways Against the Railways Doctors Many doctors were against rail travel. Previous forms of travel had never exceeded 20 mph, and yet these new trains were capable of speeds far greater. The problem was, nobody had traveled this fast before, and they weren't sure what physical effects this would have on the human body. Such as not being able to breathe or getting crushed. Owners of competing transport companies Before steam trains, people used stagecoaches and canals to travel and transport goods. These companies would now lose trade and, more importantly, money. There was even the possibility of being put out of business by this newer, faster, and cheaper form of transportation. For and Against the Railways Many different groups of people had varying opinions about the railways. For the Railways Business Men The rail industry was extremely profitable for investors as it quickly became the leading form of transport. The previous prevalent forms of transport were canals or horse and cart which were slow and expensive. Railways would speed up trade and industry and were also cheaper. This meant more money for investors Before the Railways Before the railways, people and goods traveled by horse and cart or walking/carried. They could also use canals and more recently, cycle. These all had various disadvantages. Canal boats were slow and limited to waterways which was a problem if you wanted to get anywhere away from water. Stagecoaches were faster, but not by much, and were more expensive. Toll roads were also expensive which added to the cost of a journey. :) The First Railway
and Steam engine Advantages and Disadvantages of the Railways Advantages Faster and cheaper public transport.
Provided thousands of jobs.
Easier to transport materials such as coal and metal around.
A healthier lifestyle: Because trains traveled fast over long distances, people could get a fresher and wider variety of food.
There was less overcrowding as people no longer had to live where they worked. Disadvantages Answers to the
Disadvantages The trains created dirt in the form of soot and smoke.
They were very noisy.
They could be dangerous, many people had never encountered trains and were not aware of their speed or and their inability to deviate from their path.
Many people in other areas of transport business were put out of business and lost their jobs.
To lay the train lines they had to 'carve up' the countryside. Because trains cannot turn sharp corners, track was laid in straight lines, often cutting straight through fields and villages. The advantages soon outweighed the pollution that they brought.
People grew to like the noise of the trains.
People quickly learned about trains and the safety was increased around the trains. e.g. fences by the track
The amount of people who lost jobs were far outweighed by the amount of people who gained jobs because of the railways.
'New Railway Towns' like Crewe came into existence due to the trains. In 1841 Crewe was such a small village that it did not feature in the national census Social and Economic Effects Holidays (Social and Economic) Up until this point, only the extremely rich could afford the luxury of going anywhere away from home. With the advent of the railways, it became possible for low income families to go out on day trips to the countryside. This gave them an opportunity to get away from the smoke, pollution and crowds of the large towns and cities. Families who were slightly better off were even capable of proper holidays.
This came as a massive boost to the economy because of the increased tourism across the country. Sports (Social) Because of the railways and the increased mobility they brought, it was possible for sports teams for games such as football and rugby to organize proper leagues and cups for the games. Communication
(Social and Economic) With the railways came a faster and cheaper way of transporting and mailing post. This was a massive advantage for both businesses and public use. Letters no longer took weeks to arrive at their destination and were cheaper to send. Newspapers were also transported quicker, allowing people to be more up to date on events and be aware of things going on far outside their area. Investment and 'Railway Mania' (Economic) Because of the success of the railways there was a huge amount of investment. People could invest in railway stocks. This acted as a great boost to Britain's economy and increased the amount of people coming into 'new money'.
However, this could lead to disaster. The 'Railway Mania' of 1845-46 led to unwise investments and eventual ruin of many people who put money into railway companies that collapsed. Local banks could print their own money and lent out far too much. This was one of the most important reasons that the Bank Charter Act of 1844 had been passed. This act meant that money could not be issued by anyone other than the Bank of England and there had to be gold reserves to back it up. Within 10 years Britain had become the monetary centre of the world. There were also many disadvantages when it came to transporting materials or goods. Food could not be transported any great distance without going off, mouldy or stale. It was also a problem if you were trying to transport any heavy materials around. As a result most goods and materials would be kept localised. Shopkeepers and Markets Markets and shops would benefit from the railways greatly as they would be selling fresher food particularly in big towns or cities.
Clothing materials and other household items could be transported quickly and easily to shops in towns, even if these items were heavy.
Livestock could also be moved to larger market where prices might be better.
People were able to travel to markets further away and buy a luxury. Trains and the Railways Today Although they no longer have the price advantage that they used to, the railways are still a vital part of our working lives for commuting etc..

They no longer use coal to run having moved mainly into electricity, eliminating many disadvantages such as pollution and noise. They are one of the safest forms of transport available today.

They are still used frequently by people for holidays and day trips.

Goods trains still carry coal, machinery and food all around the country. Trains were invented in the late 1820s. In 1843 there were 2000 miles of railway track. By 1848 there were 5000 miles of railway track and growing.

Trains very quickly became important to the social and economic life of Britain.

Today even though there have been other inventions such as planes and cars, they have not made the railways redundant. They are still an integral part of our society for many of the same reasons. Bibliography: School Railways PowerPoint
A social history of England by Asa Briggs
A history of modern Britain 1815-1979 by H. L. Peacock
English Social History by G. M. Trevelyan By
Sam Cochrane
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