The changes the railway had on Britain – History Essay (100 Level Course)
The railways had a great effect on Britain. Before the expansion of the railway nobody had the opportunity to leave their own village and didn’t dare to think about who or what was happening in the rest of Britain. Between then and know the country has changed a great deal, a lot of it thanks to the railway industry. It brought an increase of jobs and a numerous other things that I am going to illustrate in the rest of this essay.
Firstly I would like to point out that the railways made the cost of transporting goods a lot cheaper because they moved more things faster and further which saved a lot of money and made it possible to purchase more stock, then sell it to a wider range of industrial towns and thus a wider range of people would receive a larger income and be able to afford more things.
The expansion of the railway network led to a significant increase in both the number and type of jobs. Obviously the railways needed to be maintained once built, the trains driven and the stations staffed. The trains also shortened the amount of time spent on each journey, for example; before the trains I would of taken 43hrs and afterwards only took 12hs 45mins. So businesses benefited greatly.
The ordinary working class people were also affected greatly. Before the train industry took off nobody had an opportunity to leave there village, to go on holiday or do much else they were pretty much isolated but by having the trains it encouraged a lot of people to go to the coast, visit family or just explore what was happening around the rest of Britain. There was also a change in times because every main train station had its own time which resulted in collisions and trains being early/late for arrival at their destinations. So all this had to change to suit everyone so by 1880 people started using London’s GMT time, which stands for Greenwich Mean Time and this solved all of the problems.
Trains also made a great difference in what people read, more books and newspaper were purchased too pass the time on longer train journeys. The ‘local’ newspapers became national newspapers that everyone read, they were sent around the country to all different places and even delivered the very next day, this resulted in people reading more about Parliament and the Social reform that was taking place and then even more people were becoming interested in Politics which led to growth of political parties.
Food was also changed as the train became more popular, fresh fish, eggs and milk could be delivered on the very same day it was sent and could be carried to other industrial town. Fish and chips replaced pigs’ trotters as it became more popular as a cheap working class supper and the reason it was so cheap is because fish was now delivered fresh everyday, thanks to the railways. The railway also affected local dialects people mixed from different areas and accents didn’t seem so noticeable.