The Coming of the Railway


The first successful railway locomotive train ran in 1804 and Stephenson’s Rocket was designed in 1829. Railways then started to expand across the UK. Eventually the railway reached Cambridge during the Victorian Era, in July 1845. The first ever timetable for Cambridge trains was published on 22nd July 1845 and was used on 30th July that year, on the day the railway was officially opened to the public. When Cambridge station opened the first trains travelled to London and Norwich. The old Great Eastern route to Cambridge has some of the fastest trains on it- with a train recorded at going at 70mph on route! The trains had a non-stop time of 72 minutes from Liverpool Street to Cambridge, covering 55.75 miles on its journey.

The Victorian design of the station was mainly the inspiration of architect Francis Thompson and was extremely grand in comparison to other stations on the route, with its arches and columns.

The coming of the railway led to lots of jobs being created and meant that more houses were built in the area to accommodate railway workers. The Railways Men (Workers on the Railway) mostly lived within walking distance of the station, such as in the Railway Cottages on Mill Road, by the Railway Bridge. 

Do please download the pdf or full powerpoint presentation illustrating this subject which you will find useful to use in class:

The Coming of the Railway (ppt)

The Coming of the Railway (pdf)

Victorians: The Coming of the Railway


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