LwM Digital Residency: Archiving The Railway UK (AR-UK)

Written by Joanne SheppardOctober 10, 2023Comments: 0

Welcome to Archiving The Railway UK

For those with an interest in Britain’s railway heritage, Archiving The Railway UK (AR-UK) offers a comprehensive digital platform, capturing the essence of our rail network’s history. AR-UK was created as part of the Alan Turing Institute’s Living with Machines Digital Residencies to expand on the research, historical preservation and understanding of the UK’s history throughout the Industrial Revolution. It’s a resource for enthusiasts, historians, and anyone curious about the railways that have shaped the UK. It uses the StopGB dataset created by the Living with Machines team – this dataset of British railway stations created from Michael Quick’s ‘Railway Passenger Stations in Great Britain: a Chronology’ with metadata including operating companies, opening/closing dates, and predicted Wikidata links, which allows the geolocation of stations.

What is Archiving The Railway UK?

AR-UK is a thoughtfully designed digital archive, bringing together the vast and varied aspects of the UK rail network’s history. Our aim is to provide an accessible, engaging portal into the world of trains and tracks, past and present.

A Tour of The Front Page

Upon visiting the AR-UK website, you’ll encounter an elegantly designed front page. Here, a concise project description provides context, accompanied by an interactive map. This map features stations across the UK, each marked with data contributed by users, offering insights into each location’s unique history.

Navigating the Archive

A key feature of our site is the ability to switch views on the map. Visitors can choose between a display of stations with user-contributed data or a comprehensive view of all stations. This functionality allows for both targeted exploration and broad overviews of the network.

Contributing to the Archive

We welcome contributions from the public. Whether it’s historical photographs, anecdotes, or information about specific stations, each submission enriches the archive. The process is straightforward, encouraging users to add their own chapters to the UK’s railway story.

Continuous Improvement

The UK-RA is an evolving project. We value user feedback and are committed to enhancing the site, making it more user-friendly and informative. Upcoming improvements include more intuitive editing features, ensuring that managing your contributions is a seamless experience.

A Collective Endeavour

The UK Railway Archive is more than a digital platform; it’s a collective endeavour. It’s a space where individuals with a shared interest in railway history can converge, exchange knowledge, and contribute to a living archive.

We invite you to explore the AR-UK. Whether contributing data, delving into the history of a local station, or simply browsing out of interest, there’s much to discover. Join us in this ongoing project to document and celebrate the UK’s railway heritage.

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