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Category: History

Join railway and history nerds Simon & Ela as they delve into the social, political and technical history of the railways of Britain

Episode 1: The Railway Act 1921

August 15, 2021


In this episode of Rails to Nowhere, join Simon and Ela as they take a deep dive into the Railway Act 1921, the context around it and the potential learning points we can take away and apply to the modern age.


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Music: ‘Koala’ David Cutter Music - www.davidcuttermusic.com


Research for this episode was carried out using a number of sources including parts of the National Railway Museum library collection. Below are the principle texts used to research this episode.



Acworth, W. M. 1920. Historical Sketch of State Railway Ownership. London: John Murry.

Bagwell, Philip, and Peter Lyth. 2002. Transport in Britain 1750-2000: From Canal Lock to Gridlock. London: Hambledon & London.

Barker, Theo, and Dorian Gerhold. 1993. The Rise and Rise of Road Transport, 1700-1990. London: Studies in Economic and Social History.

Cline, Peter K. 1974. “Eric Geddes and the 'Experiment' with Businessmen in Government, 1915-1922.” In Essays in Anti-Labour History: Responses to the Rise of Labour in Britain, edited by Kenneth D. Brown, 74-104. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Emil Davies, A. 1908. The Nationalization of Railways. London: Adam and Charles Black.

Grieves, Keith. 1989. Sir Eric Geddes: Business and Government in War and Peace. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Hylton, Stuart. 2016. What the Railways did for us. Stroud: Amberley.

Phillips, Christopher. Civilian Specialists at War: Britain's Transport Experts and the First World War. London, University of London Press, 2020.

Robbins, Michael. 1998. The Railway Age. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Webb, Simon. 2016. Commutters: The History of a British Way of Life. Barnsley: Pen & Sword.