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It is hard - from a distance of nearly two centuries - to imagine the impact the coming of the railways must have had at the start of the nineteenth century. Their physical impact was dramatic enough - great mechanical horses - breathing fire and smoke and drawing impossibly heavy trains at unimaginable speeds - across a landscape transformed by the embankments and cuttings - viaducts and tunnels their passage demanded. However - they would also transform the way war was conducted and peace was maintained; prove to be one of the drivers of the dramatic industrial growth of the nineteenth century; create opportunities for many to become enormously wealthy - but impoverish many more - who invested unwisely; cause the state to think again about the policy of laissez-faire that was its default position; transform our leisure; radically re-shape our towns and cities and change our very notions of time and how we measured it.In this book - Stuart Hylton looks at the changes wrought in the British Isles during the first century of the railway age and answers the question - what did the railways do for us?... Please click here to ask a question
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