Railways: 11 to 18+ years


Railways: A comprehensive encyclopedia of railways in Britain. Each entry contains a narrative, illustrations and primary sources. The text within each entry is hypertexted to other relevant pages in the encyclopedia. In this way it is possible to research individual people and events in great detail. The sources are also hypertexted so the student is able to find out about the writer, artist, newspaper, organization, etc., that produced the material. So far there are sections on Railway & Bridge Engineers, Railway Entrepreneurs, Locomotives, Railway Companies, Liverpool & Manchester Railway, Railway Art, Railway Towns and Cities, Historical Developments, Railway Experiences and Railway Stations.

The Rainhill Trials: In October 1829 the directors of the soon to be completed Liverpool and Manchester Railway held a competition to find the most appropriate locomotive to use on their railway. The Rainhill Trials, as the competition came to be known, were held over a number of weeks, grandstands were erected and many people came to watch the events. The correspondent from the weekly Mechanics Magazine, attended these trials and sent detailed verbatim reports of the events. This website contains those articles and illustrations of the five locomotives involved: Novelty, Rocket, Sans Pareil, Cycloped and Perseverance.

Development of Railways: In this activity, produced by Learnall, students access the Spartacus Historical Encyclopedia in order to research the development of the railways. A class is put into groups, and each group researches a particular event, machine or personality, then summarises their findings and reports back to the class in the form of a word-processed document. National Curriculum key objectives are specifically targeted along with language for learning. Students and teachers wishing to make use of the Learnall site have to first get themselves registered on the site and thereby gain a username and password.

UK Heritage Railways: The primary purpose of this website is to provide a guide to the entire heritage railway scene in the UK, including details of special events and operating days for all operating steam railways. However, there is also a comprehensive glossary (over 900 entries) of railway terms, names and abbreviations; pages of diagrams and explanations of the components of steam locomotives and their controls; and a Websites Database with links to over 400 railway related websites (including a category for historical material).

Mike's Railway History: This excellent website will take you back in time, to an age where only the rich could own a car or fly. The train was the only way many people could travel. Here you will find facts and stories about railways, trains, locomotives and the railway engineers, who built and ran them. All of the items on these pages date from before 1936. Some pages on this site are very large, up to 60k text, and graphics up to 400k. Please bear this in mind as pages are downloading - they really are worth waiting for.

The Flying Scotsman: Designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, was built at the London and North Eastern Railway's Doncaster works, became the first steam engine to achieve a speed of 100mph, and completed the first non-stop journey from London to Edinburgh in 1928. It retired from British Railways service in 1963 and later toured North America and Australia, where it set a world record for a nonstop steam run by hauling a train for 422 miles in New South Wales. The locomotive will now have a permanent home at the National Railway Museum in York. It will to move to York in time for Railfest at the end of May, a celebration at the National Railway Museum of 200 years of rail travel. It will then haul excursion trains from York to Scarborough.