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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 was reluctant to regulate.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Thu 7 Apr 2016 02:00


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

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