Connection and Assimilation of Infrastructure
: Re-evaluating the Formulation of the Railway

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The paper begins with an introduction to the multi facetted aspects city of infrastructure. This sets a precedent of looking at each part of the paper using a cross discipline approach to reflect the complex nature of the subject. Infrastructure is usually associated with civil engineering, and yet using the description of other subject areas reveals geography, landscape, architecture, and a human quality rarely described. The intention of this methodology is to expose the rich depth of the topic.

The paper then endeavours to use the emblematic example of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company to illustrate the cultural attitudes to the industrial revolution, the advances in science and the entrepreneurial spirit of the early nineteenth century. A concise inspection of travel at the turn of the nineteenth century informs the discussion around the conditions that gave rise to the Railway business and the competition it encountered. The following questions react to the development of the burgeoning technology: How did the formation of the first commercial passenger lines influence legislation? Within this period, what was the cultural impact to the change in attitude to landscape?

These issues are illustrated with a breadth of primary and secondary sources. As the analysis is based in Liverpool, much of the primary evidence is from newspaper accounts contemporary to the events. The papers of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company are also sourced, along with letters from the Earl of Derby. Parliamentary reports found in Hansard, have also proved valuable evidence to the discussion. Other information has been obtained from secondary historical resources.

The paper concludes by analysing the residue of the network as presently preserved, and evaluates the cultural shifts that have taken place to create a technology more attached to nature than invention.
Date of Award2004
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Liverpool

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