Rail Books - Free UK Postage on Orders Above £20!
Cart 0
The Second Railway King: The Life and Times of Sir Edward Watkin, 1819-1901

The Second Railway King: The Life and Times of Sir Edward Watkin, 1819-1901

Regular price £25.00

Scholarly biography of Victorian railway magnate; Edward William Watkin bestrides the Victorian Railway Age. As a boy of 11 he witnessed the opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. Two years before his death he was present at the opening of Marylebone Station, the terminus of the Great Central's London Extension, the last main-line railway to be built in Britain. Between these two occasions lay a varied and colourful life. Beginning his career with one of the constitutents of the London & North Western Railway, Watkin went on to manage the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire, before becoming chairman of the M&SL and also the South Eastern Railway and the Metropolitan. Best remembered as the driving force behind the London Extension, Watkin was also the main protagonist of the Channel Tunnel project, the completion of London's Inner Circle, and the building of the ill-fated Wembley Tower. When president of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, he played a prominent part in the political unification of the country. Throughout his life Watkin was politically active.

Beginning as a Manchester Radical and supporter of the Anti-Corn Law League, he later became a Liberal and then Liberal Unionist M.P. for 25 years. He was a leading member of the Railway Interest in the Commons and one of the most important spokesmen for the industry. No biography of Sir Edward Watkin has hitherto been published. Here for the first time is a fully rounded, scholarly picture of one of giants of the Railway Age, based entirely on extensive archival research in both British and Canadian sources. It describes Watkin's individualistic career in railway management and politics in the setting of personal and company inter-relationships and rivalries, commercial and economic developments, and the national and local politics of the day. The book will appeal not only to railway enthusiasts and academics interested in nineteenth-century politics and transport history, but also rail professionals, since Watkin dealt with many issues that concern the industry today. David Hodgkins's new book is serious railway history at its best.

Hardback with dust jacket, over 700 pages plus 53 black & white plates

ISBN: 9781898937494

Most orders are dispatched within two working days of receipt of cleared payment. If there is going to be a significant delay, we will endeavour to contact you and give you an estimated dispatch time.

Please be aware that advance orders will be sent as soon as the relevant book has been published. 

When placing your order, please ensure that you add the correct full shipping address to your order. This includes house number, street name, zip code/post code. If parcels are returned on account of an incorrect shipping address we will contact you to seek the correct address and also ask that you pay a contribution towards posting the parcel to you a second time. 


All orders over £20.00 are post free to all UK addresses. For orders of £20 or less, a £1.30 postage fee will be added. These are normally sent via Royal Mail 48 Hour (the business equivalent of 2nd class mail) which is not tracked. If you require tracking for your, tracking options are available for a small fee. If the service that you require is not shown, please get in touch with us and we can quote for your desired service.

Large, bulky or high value orders may be split in to multiple consignments or sent via courier. There is no additional charge for this and you will be advised at the order fulfillment stage if this happens.


Overseas orders are charged based on weight, and postage will be automatically calculated at checkout. For a postage quotation, please add the items you want to your cart and proceed to the checkout. All orders are usually sent via Air Mail - this is not tracked. If you required your order to be tracked or sent by a different service, please contact me, preferably before checkout.

Royal Mail will only accept parcels up to 5kg in weight (2kg for Canada). If you are ordering multiple items that exceed these limits, please contact us first so that we can advise you of the appropriate shipping rate.

Some countries charge import taxes and we suggest that in these cases, you asked for your order to be tracked so the local taxation authorities can trace your parcel.

Share this Product

More from this collection

More by Merton