Our British railway network has provided a vital lifeline since the charming days of steam trains through to the busy commuter world we have today…
Ever since the first steam locomotives of the early 19th century, the UK railway network benefitted from extensive expansion. By 1923 most of the railways were grouped together to form the ‘Big Four’ – namely, the Great Western, the London and North Eastern, the London, Midland and Scottish, and the Southern Railway companies. Other smaller companies operated, such as the Somerset and Dorset, and the Midland and Great Northern, but it was the Big Four that were public companies, eventually becoming part of ‘British Railways’ when nationalisation took place on 1 January 1948.
During the Second World War the railways played a key role. It made sense that railway workers were a ‘restricted occupation’ and not required to join up. They were more than busy ferrying vital military supplies and personnel, and supporting the evacuation of children from bombed out cities.
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