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Building a British Railway

The railways are one of the glories of British engineering, and their maintenance remains a Herculean task.

The Victorians left us with a network of stunning complexity, but the technology has changed beyond recognition. Even at the end of the Victorian age - as moving pictures arrived on the scene - engineers were grappling with the challenges of adapting a railway for the 20th century. Film cameras have witnessed every major development since then, from constructing locomotives to replacing bridges, to dieselisation and electrification. These films are a stunning record of the sheer effort and invention required to keep Britain on the rails.

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Building a British Railway

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LNER Manufacture of Switches and Crossings 1947

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Remodelling Church Fenton North Junction 1948

With not a high vis vest in sight, dozens of men in overcoats, welding shovels and crowbars, seemingly just lolling around, get to work replacing large sections of railway track.

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Unloading Girders at Skelton Bridge 1930

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