Friday, September 18, 2015

The Rail Map of Industrial Decline

Rail Map Online is a Google Map of UK railway lines, showing both the present UK rail network and historical (now closed) railway lines.

The map provides a great overview of the UK's historical rail network. Zoom in almost anywhere on the map and you can see how extensive the UK rail network used to be. In fact the map provides a pretty impressive snapshot of a once powerful industrial nation moving towards a post-industrial age.

When you zoom in on the map and switch to satellite view you might wonder why so many rail lines were built to service what look like just empty fields. Luckily the map also includes a number of historical map options. Switch to the Ordnance Survey 6in map and you will probably discover that those now empty fields were once factories, mills or mines.

It turns out that an historical map of the UK rail network also provides a fascinating insight into the UK's industrial decline.
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