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Duration 00:50:14

Selling the age of the train: British Rail passenger marketing and travel in Britain in the 1960s–70s

By exploring a wide range of historical records, this talk aims to tell the story of how the railways changed peoples’ lives, as well as to show how people similarly took part in shaping rail travel in Britain.

Travel in late-twentieth century Britain is often characterised by the massive growth of road traffic and the popularisation of air travel—a change that overshadowed railways as the long-standing means of mass transportation. However, from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, British Rail was one of the most aggressive transport marketers in Britain, helping the company to regain lost ground, and allowing railways to keep shaping and changing the lives of Britain’s travelling public. 

Dr Hiroki Shin is a research associate at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester. Dr Shin was the postdoctoral research associate of the AHRC funded project ‘The Commercial Cultures of Britain’s Railways, 1872-1977’, conducted at the Institute of Railway Studies & Transport History and the National Railway Museum between 2008 and 2012.