The opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1830 marked the beginning of a transport revolution. Blood, Iron and Gold reveals the huge impact of the railways as they spread rapidly across the world, linking cities that had hitherto been isolated, stimulating both economic growth and social change on an unprecedented scale. From Panama to the Punjab, Tasmania to Turin, Christian Wolmar describes the vision and determination of the pioneers who developed railways that would one day span continents, as well as the labour of the navvies who endured horrific conditions to build this global network. Wolmar shows how the rise of the train stimulated daring feats of engineering, architectural innovation and the rapid movement of people and goods around the world. He shows how cultures were enriched - and destroyed - by the unrelenting construction and how the railways played a vital role in civil conflict, as well as in two world wars. Indeed, Blood, Iron and Gold reveals that the global expansion of the railways underpinned nothing less than the spread of modernity and the making of the modern world.