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Severn Valley Railway to feature in railway documentary

Entertainment | Published:

A television documentary exploring Britain's Rail network will feature scenes from the Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster.

The documentary will see historian Liz McIvor exploring how Britain's expanding rail network was the spark to a social revolution, starting in the 1800s and through to modern times.

Railways: The Making of a Nation was filmed at at a range of locations including Birmingham New Street and the Severn Valley Railway in Kidderminster and Birmingham city centre and explores how trains reflected class divisions with separate carriages for first, second and third class passengers.

Liz McIvor said: "A fast system of transportation shaped many areas of our industrial nation from what we eat to where we live, work and play.

"The railways generated economic activity but they also changed the nature of business itself. They even changed attitudes to time and how we set our clocks.

"Our railways reflected deep class divisions, but they also brought people together and helped forge a new sense of national identity. Before the railways most people lived local lives and had little, if any, interaction with people from other regions with different accents and cultures.

"With an expanding network people began to mix and learned to co-exist with their fellow countrymen and women.

This documentary, on BBC One next Wednesday at 7.30pm, tells the story of how the railways changed the way we live, giving us a modern, industrial, suburban, consumer nation.

"This is a social, cultural and economic history of the railways. In the early 1800s Britain was clearly divided between upper, middle and working classes. On the railways they shared the same stations and arrived at the destination at the same time.

"The trains gradually acted as a great catalyst, mixing the country up as people travelled to regions for the first time."

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