Drawing on History

by Northern Life

The history of railways is a story with grand themes like politics, economy and war, but it is also a story about dogs, slate roofs and fish and chips.

A new book Railways: A History in Drawings reveals the development and impact of the railways in Britain and around the globe, but it also chronicles Yorkshire’s railway companies, locomotives, carriages, and stations through maps, photographs and exquisite, articulate engineering drawings.

Christopher Valkoinen from the National Railway Museum in York has curated over 300 images to reveal this story of life-changing inventions, huge characters (such as George and Robert Stephenson, Gresley, and Brunel) and the millions of people who have worked and travelled on the rails.

Yorkshire highlights include a stunning colour drawing of a Victorian-era Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway private family carriage, ‘Flying Scotsman’ restaurant cars (which ended the traditional 20 minute lunch stop in York), and a design for an extra fast L&YR Fleetwood Fish Van. Let’s take a sneaky peak!

A large crowd gathers for the unveiling of the war memorial at Paddington station in 1922.

The Great Western Railway alone had lost over 25,000 of its employees in the war.

All images © National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture Library © Thames & Hudson