This book describes the effect that railways had on the agricultural regions comprising East Anglia in the 19th century. Rail travel increased mobility and led to economic and social change in rural communities. The railways also offered employment opportunities with higher wages than could be earned in agriculture, and they were therefore responsible for attracting agricultural labourers. However, railway work was dangerous, and consequently in the early days accidents were frequent. The early railway companies realised that discipline was essential in order to try to ensure safe working conditions, so being drunk whilst on duty, and unauthorised absence usually resulted in instant dismissal. The author outlines the type of work undertaken on the early railways and describes the speed at which the system developed when operated by the Great Eastern Railway.
The Coming of the Railways to East Anglia
13 Nov 2015