First Reactions to the Railway

Main Themes and Motifs

  • Wonder at the new technology
  • Anticipation of beneficial effects
  • Impact on road transport.

Chronology

1820-29
1830-39   099*; 141; 199; 273; 373; 542; 564
1840-49   349*; 480; 663
1850-59   302
1860-69
1870-79   716
1880-89

* The earliest and latest dates for this item extend across decades. See item more information.

Historical Background

The railway inspired a mixture of fear and excitement. People of all sorts were instantly aware of the benefits that the railway might bring but there was also widespread concern about safety.

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