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Early British Railway Tunnels: the Implications for planners, landowners and passengers between 1830 and 1870

Pragnell, Hubert John/H J (2016) Early British Railway Tunnels: the Implications for planners, landowners and passengers between 1830 and 1870. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Of the many fears of early railway travellers, speed and a journey through a dark tunnel were among the greatest. This thesis looks at railway tunnels and their place in the minds of travellers, landowners, engineers and navvies, writers, journalists and artists, during the pioneering days of railway development up to 1870. Although tunnels and tunnelling occupy an important place in engineering literature they have been neglected by social historians. The intention of this thesis is to demonstrate that tunnels are worthy of as much attention as any other railway structures such as stations, which have been the subject of railway literature in recent years. Chapter 1 is a review of recent railway literature in which the railway tunnel has been introduced as a secondary topic. Chapter 2 discusses the problems involved in early tunnelling and uses Brunel's Box tunnel as a case study. Chapter 3 discusses the relationship between railway companies, landowners and Parliament. Lord Lichfield and the Trent Valley Railway at Shugborough Hall are used as a case study Chapter 4 discusses tunnels in early railway guide books and literature. it also examines their depiction in railway prints, as an architectural feature in their own right or set into a wider landscape with its own message for the viewer. Particular reference is made to the pictures by J.C.Bourne for his volume on the London & Birmingham and Great Western railways. Chapter 5 looks at the fear of tunnels as promoted by the anti-railway lobby. The chapter suggests that such fears were unjustified in view of the few deaths and injuries actually occurring in a tunnel. Chapter 6 looks at the variety of designs for tunnel portals. This thesis examines designs by Brunel, Stephenson, and others, which are truly masterpieces of the railway Age.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > History (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.713325
Depositing User: Mr Hubert John/H J Pragnell
Date Deposited: 03 May 2017 15:42
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:22
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16826

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