A magnificent account of Britain's railways and how track and carriage united a nation.
This series of readings includes an exploration of many aspects of the railway revolution, such as the challenges of 'railway time', the nuances of first, second and third class, the dificulties of lighting and heating, passenger comfort, what to eat when travelling and the history of refreshment stops and the commercial opportunities they brought - including the establishment of W.H.Smith and Son, who became the nation's first high street bookstore. Architecture and engineering are also covered, alongside the impact on social classes and gender.
Passengers may have a love-hate relationship with our railways, but few of us know much about the journey taken to get to where we are now.
"Simon Bradley's The Railways is magisterial. It's both authoritative and absorbing. A first class journey." Michael Palin
Episode 5: The enduring appeal of the railways - enthusiasts are so much more than just trainspotters. And what do trainspotters do anyway?
Read by Stephen Tompkinson
Abridged and produced by Jill Waters
A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.