#HI-03-05 Working Lives on Britain’s Railways: Railway History and Heritage
About CourseUniversity of Strathclyde
Explore British railway history and learn what work on the railways was like
On this course, you will investigate the professional lives of the men and women working on the British railways from the 1840s until the First World War.
Using archival materials from the National Railway Museum, you will learn about the mental and physical hardship endured by railway workers, as well as the risks and pleasures that came with working in this new industry.
From Irish Catholic navvies to female office clerks based in industrial cities, you will discover the surprising diversity and complexity of the railway workforce.
I’m the Railway Museum’s Librarian and my role is to help orientate all levels of researcher to find the answers to their railway-related questions.
Who developed the course?
What Will I Learn?
- Discuss the range of activities involved in working on the railways in the long nineteenth century, and how these changed during the period covered by the course.
- Assess representations of working lives on the railways and railway artefacts and discuss how they relate to wider questions of class, gender, and professional identity.
- Explore written and oral material on workers’ lives within the appropriate historical and material contexts.
- Perform searches in the online resources of the National Railway Museum and other archives for material relevant to railway history and workers’ lives.
Topics for this course
Welcome to the course
SPECIAL EXTENDED COURSE RUN: NOTE ON REDUCED-FACILITATION STATUS ARTICLE
WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION TO YOUR EDUCATORS VIDEO (04:51)00:04:51
WELCOME FROM SIR JIM MCDONALD VIDEO (03:25)00:03:25
INTRODUCE YOURSELF DISCUSSION
WELCOME TO WEEK ONE VIDEO (00:33)00:00:33
THE RISE OF THE RAILWAYS ARTICLE
RAILWAY LABOUR: A TIMELINE ARTICLE
IMAGINING THE ENGINE DRIVER DISCUSSION
What did engine drivers do?
INTRODUCING WHAT ENGINE DRIVERS DID VIDEO (01:05)00:01:05
HOW TO BECOME A MODEL ENGINE DRIVER IN 1898 ARTICLE
RIDING ON THE ENGINES ARTICLE00:00:00
LEISURE TIME ARTICLE
MYSTERY OBJECT DISCUSSION
Dangers and difficulties
INTRODUCING THE DANGERS AND DIFFICULTIES OF RAILWAY LABOUR VIDEO (02:35)00:02:35
RAILWAY TRADE UNIONS ARTICLE
The engine-driver hero
THE ENGINE DRIVER HERO VIDEO (04:04)00:04:04
REPRESENTING THE ENGINE DRIVER ARTICLE
THE ENGINE DRIVER IN CHILDREN’S FICTION ARTICLE
DISCUSSING THE ENGINE DRIVER DISCUSSION
The course was fun and heavy, and I learned about the risks and joys of working in this new industry.
The construction of the railway is a very arduous process, among which the hardest work is done by the workers. This course introduces us to the mental and physical difficulties that railroad workers endure. It's so bitter.
The history of British railways is wonderful. It was the beginning of the development of railways in the world.
Railway is a necessary course of a country's development. This is a great course to take us through what railroad work is.