Historian Liz McIvor explores how Britain’s expanding rail network was the spark to a social revolution, starting in the 1800s and through to modern times.
Season 01 , Episode 01 – “Time”
Historian Liz McIvor explores how Britain’s expanding rail network was the spark to a social revolution, starting in the 1800s and continuing through to modern times. A fast system of transportation shaped so many areas of our industrial nation – from what we eat to where we live, work and play. The railways generated economic activity but they also changed the nature of business itself. They even changed attitudes to time and how we set our clocks. Our railways may have reflected deep class divisions, but they also brought people together as never before, and helped forge a new sense of national identity. This episode looks at how you organise a rail network in a country made up of separate local time zones and no recognised timetables. Before the railways, our country was divided and local time was proudly treasured. Clocks in the west of the country were several minutes behind those set in the east. The railways wanted the country to step to a new beat in a world of precise schedules and timetables that recognised Greenwich Mean Time. Not everyone was keen to step in line, and some complained about the new world of one single time zone and precise schedules.