Modelling the Railway Network

Tuesday 13 November 2012, 7.00pm for 7.30pm (Light refreshments available from 7.00pm)

Training Centre TC103, Elwes Building, University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, GL50 2QF

Free and open to all. No booking required.

Mark Casson


Was the British railway system built by the Victorians too large? Did it involve wasteful duplication of lines? Were the Beeching closures of the 1960s inevitable? Despite a very large literature there is no real agreement on the answers. Mark Casson has created a map of what the Victorian railway system might have looked like if the British parliament had taken advice offered by William Gladstone MP and the Earl of Dalhousie back in 1844. The map is constructed using a heuristic approach to the optimisation of spatial networks. Details are available in The World's First Railway System, published in 2009 by Oxford University Press.