1st Edition

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

By Michael Freeman, Derek Aldcroft Copyright 1985
    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    132 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.




    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 




    Michael Freeman, Derek Aldcroft