As in so many of the things that the Europeans do better than us, the model by which our railways came about is shared with the Americans rather than our continent. When the railways arrived in the middle of the 19th century, most European governments saw the need for their own guidance in planning the railway network, to ensure that it was rational and efficient. But in Britain and America, anybody who could raise the capital could build any railway they liked. Our railway network is the bizarre product of mad Victorian capitalists fighting over real and imaged markets. For the first hundred years, three railways competed for the London-Scotland market — the routes that are now the East and West Coast Main Lines, plus a third, the Midland from St Pancras. Extending the Midland Mainline from Leeds to Settle, the third railway then climbs up the 16 mile long drag to the top of the Yorkshire Dales, the highest point of the mainline network, and down the other side to Carlisle, through 14 tunnels and over 22 viaducts along the way — amongst them the 24 arches of Ribblehead, 100 ft above the boggy valley.
About the author
Geek and nerd Joe D has in the past studied genetics, molecular and cell biology, worked in cancer research, and made contemptuous amounts of money from incompetently composed photographs. The views expressed on this weblog are not his own; rather, he stole them from you through mind invasion.
e: joe at dunckley dot me dot uk
My other blog is a…
Photoblog! Check out cotch dot net for photos and stuff about photos.
Science blog! A blog about cancer cell and molecular biology, coming soon...
Cycling and transport policy blog! At War With The Motorist looks at how car-centric planning has ruined Britain's streets and given us bad public transport and cycling infrastructure.
Skepticism blog! I contribute to the group blog Lay Science on the nature of science, skepticism, and bad arguments.
Science publishing blog! It's called Journalology and it's a group blog about publishers, journals, papers and data.
Fiction blog! Where I make stuff up, coming soon...
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