Taking a stroll down to London King's Cross station was once met with a cloud of steam and smoke as the locomotives prepared for a long voyage up north.
The station was a hubbub of weary travellers coming down from Scotland or those with a wide-eyed smile looking forward to their journey to a different part of the country. There was the sound of the whistle on the platform followed shortly by the responding sound from the steam train before it pulled out and headed on its journey. It was a golden age for rail travel and became a huge experience for anyone hopping aboard.
Nowadays, the station is still alive with busy commuters looking to catch their ride home but everything about King's Cross shows the evolution of the railways in Great Britain. The concourse is a huge open space with a host of modern architecture that complements the stylish features of the surrounding areas.
Whereas there was once a guard clipping tickets there is now automated gates which let passengers through with just one swipe. The steam and smoke has been replaced by LED boards and television screens but the one main change is the type of train people are jumping on. Gone are the days of the majestic steam engines and they have been replaced with efficient, high speed, electric trains.
Train travel has become somewhat of a business class experience, or cramped and uncomfortable, if someone has the unfortunate occurrence of hopping on a Leeds to Manchester Piccadilly service shortly after the end of a working day. So when did all the way trains run in this country change?
Since the creation of the Stockton and Darlington line in Teesside in 1825 the railways have been the backbone of the UK. During the 1840s there was a huge boom in the number of trains being built and the amount of passengers choosing to ride the rails. This gave birth to the UK's golden age of steam.
The nation became the envy of the world with some of the most recognisable companies in the UK patrolling the railways. The likes of Great Western Railway, London and North Eastern Railway and London, Midland Scottish Railway were dominating the sector and producing some of the most memorable steam locomotives ever known.
Passengers were able to catch The Flying Scotsman from King's Cross all the way up to Edinburgh Waverley while The Mallard was breaking all kinds of land speed records. However, it was all set to come to an end. In 1968, the UK said goodbye to frequent steam engine journey as electrification and diesel took over.
Since that day, the steam trains have been reserved for using heritage lines and special excursions for enthusiasts and people looking for an enjoyable day out. The railways could change even further in the future with plans in the works for a new high speed service which will dramatically reduce journey times across the country.
While the days of steam are long gone, the popularity of the railway is still continuing at a pace.