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Over just 50 years, Britain's railways grew from a handful of small lines carrying coal to the biggest industry in the strongest nation on the planet. A nation had built the railways and now those railways would build a nation, influencing working conditions for its employees, proving a valuable export across the globe and even changing warfare.

Yet the story of railways up until the beginning of the Second World War concerned who they really belonged to - the private rail companies who were obsessed with profit; the public who rode them; or the government, who needed them at times of crisis but were reluctant to regulate.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 1 Jun 2013 18:05
BBC Two Northern Ireland, Wales only


Role Contributor
PresenterDan Snow
ProducerDavid Vincent
DirectorDavid Vincent
Executive ProducerEamon Hardy
Series ProducerMelanie Archer

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