The Railway Revolution – A Study of the Early Railways of the Great Northern Coalfield 1605 – 1830

The Railway Revolution
Product Code:
Series: The Early Railways Collection
Author/Editor: Les Turnbull
Publication Date: NEIMME2019


The book presents a new interpretation of the standard history of railways arguing that the real railway revolution took place, not in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, but in the seventeenth century, when the transport of heavy goods was transferred from road to rail. A detailed study of the records for Whitley Colliery in the archive of the Duke of Northumberland enables the significance of this event to be quantified. The book also argues for a new assessment of the importance of the waggonways of the Great Northern Coalfield, which were not simple tramroads, but the major arteries of the world largest coalfield. Using recent archaeological and archival research, the book examines the nature of these early railways, which were built both above and below ground. Part Two is a directory to the early railways of the Great Northern Coalfield reproducing many of the maps from the archives of Mining Institute.

About the Author

Les Turnbull graduated in history at Durham University and worked as a schoolmaster, university lecturer and senior education adviser. Upon retirement he became a volunteer at NEIMME where now serves as a member of Council. Les has written several books on the history of mining and his particular interest, the early railways of the Great Northern Coalfield. He is frequently called upon to lecture both within the region and beyond.

Purchasing Information

ISBN: 978-0-9931151
Book Information: Softback, 172 A4 pages in full colour, 165 illustrations.

List price: £ 15.00
NEIMME Members price: £ 15.00
Other societies price: £ 15.00

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