The Foundation of Brunel's Great Western Railway
Although the Great Western went on to become one of Britain's best-loved and most romantic railway companies, its origins were founded on hard-nosed commercial requirements that set the genius and far-sightedness of Brunel against the conservatism of Parliament and Britain's land-owning establishment. Brunel's relations with Parliament, an essential component of railway incorporation, were always strained as he lacked the patience to compromise his ideals to the practical realities of gaining Parliamentary authorisation. Parliament, for its part, was increasingly sensitive to the power of big companies in the climate of the Reform Act of 1832, and this book traces the interaction between Government and one of Great Britain's major railways, drawing largely on previously undisclosed material. The tensions between a railway set up to promote the public good and the private interests of landowners are also traced through original sources, providing a vivid picture of a still essentially medieval country emerging into the brave new world of the Industrial Revolution.
Softback, 144 pages, black & white illustrations
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