Now in paperback, Fire and Steam tells the dramatic story of the people and events that shaped the world's first railway network, one of the most impressive engineering achievements in history. The opening of the pioneering Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 marked the beginning of the railways' vital role in changing the face of Britain. Fire and Steam celebrates the vision and determination of the ambitious Victorian pioneers who developed this revolutionary transport system and the navvies who cut through the land to enable a country-wide network to emerge. The rise of the steam train allowed goods and people to circulate around Britain as never before, stimulating the growth of towns and industry, as well many of the facets of modern life, from fish and chips to professional football. From the early days of steam to electrification, via the railways' magnificent contribution in two world wars, the checkered history of British Rail, and the buoyant future of the train, Fire and Steam examines the social and economical importance of the railway and how it helped to form the Britain of today.