Piercing the Pennines - Heroic railways linking Lancashire and Yorkshire
Lancashire and Yorkshire led Britain and the world into the industrial revolution, yet were long cut off by the Pennine chain. The railway age finally brought the two counties together and ensured the continued growth of Manchester as one of Britain’s most remarkable cities. It was linked to Leeds and Sheffield by a series of heroic railway tunnels, three of which were successively the longest in the world when completed in the 1840s. Often taken for granted, this book portrays them as extraordinary achievements against seemingly insuperable odds that deserve the fullest recognition. It fully captures their epic construction in the harshest of conditions with high loss of life.
These pages look not just at the tunnels and the men who created them but also show how they connected key settlements either side of the Pennines. They step back further in history to show how canals paved the way for the railways and also look forward to their future role in the new world of a ‘Northern Powerhouse’.
There is a comprehensive collection of illustrations ranging from period lithographs through to present-day photographs.
The many varied themes of this book include:
- The vision of George Stephenson – ‘Father of Railways’
- Navvies left to survive in huts thrown together with loose stones and thatch
- Death and chronic illness at Woodhead tunnel on top of the Pennines
- Early travellers who refused to go through a tunnel behind a ‘steam monster’
- The raging inferno that created Britain’s worst-ever tunnel fire
Hardback with dust jacket, 128 pages, black & white and colour illustrations
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Updated: 29 December 2021