Building the Railways 1750 - 1900

These tried and tested resource looks at one of the most amazing feats of the modern age, the building of the railways in Victorian Britain. The accomplishment of the navvies, often overlooked in history, rivals that of the pyramid builders and those who built the Great Wall of China. This resource is part of a series that have been written on the Transport Revolution. It follows on from the birth of the railways, but can be sued a stand alone resource.

The PowerPoint is design to support the worksheet, but can be used independently. The activities are designed to appeal to a wide range of learners. There are five activities in the PowerPoint including, a snowballing starter of the key words, a class debate, heads and tails, labelling exercise and a word search.

The aims and objectives are:

Theme: Transport Revolution 1750 - 1900
Know: What problems faced engineers whilst building the railways?
Understand: How did engineers overcome the shape of the land?
Evaluate: Why did the railways rapidly grow from 1850 – 1900?
Skills: Cause, Consequence, Significance and Source Analysis

WILF: What Am I Looking For?
Identify & describe: how railway engineers built the railways?
Explain: How railway engineers overcame the shape of the land?
Analyse: Begin to come to a judgement on why the railways expanded rapidly between 1850 – 1900?

The PowerPoint also includes some links to some amazing videos on You Tube. Please remember that the PP must be in show mode in order for the hyperlink to work.

Anyway, have fun with this lesson. My students always love it. Its fully customisable as everything in provided in Microsoft documents. You may want to include some local examples of viaducts, cuttings, embankments if you want to contextualise the learning to your local environment.

Kind Regards


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  • Transport-Rev--Building-the-Railways.pptx
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About this resource


Created: Nov 30, 2016

Updated: May 11, 2019

Whole lesson

pptx, 2 MB



png, 4 MB


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