Routledge Revivals: The Atlas of British Railway History (1985): 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Routledge Revivals: The Atlas of British Railway History (1985)

1st Edition

By Michael Freeman, Derek Aldcroft


132 pages

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First published in 1985, this Atlas uses over 50 specially drawn maps to trace the rise and fall of the railways’ fortunes, and is supported by an interesting and authoritative text. Financial and operating statistics are clearly presented in diagrammatic form and provide a wealth of information rarely available to the student of railway history. Freeman and Aldcroft provide the basis for a new understanding of the way in which the railways transformed Britain by the scale of their engineering works, by shrinking national space and reorganising the layouts of urban areas. Maps show the evolution of early wagon routes into the first railway routes, the frenetic activity of the ‘Railway Mania’ years, and the consolidation of these lines into a national network. This exciting presentation of railway development will interest the enthusiast as well as the more general student of British transport history.

Table of Contents



1. Precursors

2. Birth

3. Pioneers 1: Stockton and Darlington

4. Pioneers 2: Liverpool and Manchester

5. A Network Created

6. Railway Mania

7. The Railway System by 1850

8. The Broad Gauge

9. Social Benefits

10. Railways in the Landscape


11. The Network Matures: 1850-1875

12. The Growth of Traffic

13. The Locomotive Stable

14. Network Intensification: 1875-1914

15. The Race to the North

16. Railways and Towns

17. Railway Pricing

18. Traffic Density: 1901

19. Edwardian Zenith


20. World War One

21. The Railways in 1921

22. The Grouping: 1923

23. Steam Power at its Zenith

24. A New Age in Passenger Services

25. Southern Electric

26. Road Competition: The Railway Response

27. Railway Air Services

28. The Railways in 1938


29. World War Two

30. The Big Four in Twilight

31. Nationalisation

32. Modernisation

33. Air and Road Competition

34. The Beeching Era

35. Into a New Age… Or Lingering Decline?

36. Now They Are Closed… Now They Are Open


About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

If you are interested in Revivals in the Behavioral Sciences, please visit

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
TRANSPORTATION / Railroads / History