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Railways transformed the ability to move things and people across the country and beyond, faster than was previously possible. The objects in this image bank showcase the influence of maths in the stories of trains and railways.

A steam train moving along the rails

The railway industry changed the world. Over 200 years ago the only ways to travel were by foot, horse or boat. After the invention of the steam engine, people began investing in and developing steam engines as a method of transport.

Measurement and geometry are used throughout the rail industry to do things such as designing locomotives, planning routes, creating timetables and setting fares. This involves measures such as weight, money, distance, time and speed.

A clockface with roman numerals and ‘W. Avison; Railway Time; York’ printed on the face.

Highlighting maths in the railway industry is a way of showcasing many useful practical applications of maths.

Curriculum Links

Downloadable resources

Maths and Railways – Image Bank (PDF Document)

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