The History of British Railways

Ref: C2226714

Arguably the advent of rail transport brought about the biggest change in the way of life in Gt Britain during the 19th century. In its wake came standardised time, holidays and a realisation by the ordinary people that there really was a different life over the next hill. It also brought financial skulduggery and power hungry despots. This course will look at the political and financial implications of railways to Nationalisation while reviewing the men who were intimately concerned with the growth of this pivotal change in Gt Britain.

Additional information about this course

Half term break on 30/10/2019

Course aim

Promote a better understanding of the interaction of the political, financial, engineering and social changes that the railways brought to this country.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • Students will need to feel reasonable comfortable with technical vocabulary and note taking.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise the reasons for the growth of the railway network.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of why the Railways had such an impact on the country
  • Outline and appreciate the importance of both the engineering of and the men behind, the railways.
  • Outline the consequences of the financial and political implications of the growth of the Railways.
  • Develop an understanding for the social and economic repercussions

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • Discussions, lectures, group work, investigations video/PowerPoint, question & answer.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • Via Question & Answer, discussion, quizzes

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • Have an Interest in industrial and railway history

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Site visit and further reading

Download full course information sheet

The History of British Railways


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  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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