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Railway promotion in Victorian Britain: engineering triumph or waste of capital?

Casson, M. (2016) Railway promotion in Victorian Britain: engineering triumph or waste of capital? In: Cross-Rudkin, P. (ed.) Early main line railways. Six Martlets Press, Clare, Suffolk, pp. 1-16. (Papers from the First International Early Main Line Railways Conference held at Caernarfon from 19 to 22 June 2014.)

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A key issue in UK railway history is whether the railway system was an efficient response to the traffic requirements of the economy. The UK railway system was constructed entirely by private enterprise with minimal state subsidies. This chapter considers whether the railway system was 'over-built' because the government ignored the advice of the Railway Committee of the Board of Trade. The chapter suggests that the system was over-built by about 35 per cent. The causes of this over-building are investigated and are found to be mainly social and political failures arising from distrust between MPs and civil servants and public pressure on local MPs to ensure that their constituencies were well served by railways.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Economics
ID Code:65518
Publisher:Six Martlets Press

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