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What the impact of the coming of the railways?

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Introduction

What the impact of the coming of the railways? The coming of the railways introduced new ways of travel and transport. Transport was much quicker and travel became more popular. Canals were less used. The railways were the result of improvement in the production of iron (for the track) and steam engineering (for the engines). The first locomotive to haul a train of wagons on rails was designed by Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick, and was demonstrated in 1804 on a plate way at Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. Although the locomotive successfully hauled the train, the rail design was not a success, partly because its weight broke a number of the brittle cast-iron plates. Despite this setback, another area of South Wales pioneered rail operations, when, in 1806, a horse-drawn railway was built between Swansea and Mumbles: the Swansea-Mumbles railway started carrying fare-paying passengers in 1807 - the first in the world to do so. ...read more.

Middle

Stephenson's Rocket was an early steam locomotive of 0-2-2 wheel arrangement, built in Newcastle at the Forth Street Works of Robert Stephenson and Company in 1829. It was the first 'modern' locomotive, drawing together several recent strands of technological improvement. In 1830 the new line was opened but the president of the Board of Trade was hit by the Rocket, and died. Despite this the line was a great success. The Liverpool to Manchester line was primarily built to provide faster transport of raw materials and finished goods between the port of Liverpool and mills in Manchester and surrounding towns in north-west England. In the 1830s and 1840s the main lines of the English railway system were built. Important routes were completed, like the Great Central Railway, London and North Western Railway, Midland Railway etc. ...read more.

Conclusion

The standard size used by the Stephenson's was 4 feet 8.5 inches, but Brunel's had a broader gauge of 7 feet. In 1845 a British Royal Commission recommended adoption of 4 ft 81/2 in (1,435 mm) as standard gauge, and in the following year Parliament passed the Gauge Act, which required that new railways use standard gauge. Except for the Great Western Railway's broad gauge, few main-line British railways used a different gauge, and the last Great Western line was finally converted to standard gauge in 1892. The railways had a huge impact on the development of the British economy. * They increased demand in iron, coal and the brick industry. * Railway construction became an industry, from 1845-9 average annual employment on the railways was 172,000. * Easier to transport fresh products, had a huge impact on diet availability of food in cities. * The growth in railways led to changes in the financial markets. * Railways changed towns and cities * The railways opened up the possibility for people to travel. ...read more.

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