Effects of the Industrial Revolution on transport and communication
Subway tunnels in London
The world shrank – in 1700 it took four days to get from London to Manchester, but in 1880 it took four hours. Raw materials, goods, food (eg fresh milk) and post arrived faster.
Economic growth – the railways needed bricks, cement, sleepers, iron and coal and as a result, those industries were stimulated. In 1847, more than a quarter of a million people worked on the railways. Their wages helped the economy grow.
Finance – huge numbers of people bought shares in railway companies. Many later lost their money when the boom ended.
The 1844 Railway Regulation Act improved conditions in third-class. In 1883, the Cheap Trains Act made railway companies offer a greater number of cheap trains for workers. Transport became available to more people than ever before.
By 1880, it became clear that speedier travel and railway timetables needed the whole country to take up a national standardised time. Before this date people used local time that varied from place to place.
The growth of the shipping industry allowed a huge growth in worldwide trade.
By 1902, the whole British Empire was linked together by a network of telegraph cables called the 'All Red Line'.