Fri 24 Aug 2018
Britain loves transport – it’s famously one of the UK’s favourite conversational gambits. And it’s not simply our day-to-day journeys that fascinate us; a rich seam of travel-related nostalgia runs through the national consciousness.
Worldwide, only the US has more museums dedicated to transport than the UK – which perhaps explains the quiet ripple of excitement with which enthusiasts greeted the latest updates to Rail Map online.
Founded and maintained by transport enthusiast Matthew Bromley, the website allows readers to compare transport lines past and present, revealing just how comprehensive and integrated our transport networks were before the rise of the private vehicle.
To complement its coverage of rail lines and canals, Bromley has added the UK’s tram network in all its glory, showing the dramatic reduction of service in post-war Britain – some of the most striking examples of which are shown below. “There is the simple nostalgia of something from the past that served us well but has now gone,” says John Prentice, chairman of the Tramway and Light Railway Society (TLRS). But as well as inspiring fond memories of elegant vintage rolling stock, Bromley’s website points towards a range of solutions to some modern transport problems.