THE historic Nine Arches Bridge is to feature as part of a BBC One documentary exploring Britain's rail network to be shown tomorrow.

The show, called 'Railways: the Making of A Nation', sees historian Liz McIvor examine how the country’s expanding rail network was the spark to a social revolution, starting in the 1800s and through to modern times.

The Sankey Viaduct, said to be the first major crossing of its kind when it was built by George Stephenson between 1828 and 1830, will feature in the show which was filmed at a range of locations across the North West.

And the bridge, commonly known as the Nine Arches, is the world’s earliest major railway viaduct still in use and has been named a Grade I listed building by English Heritage.

Historian Liz said: “A fast system of transportation shaped many areas of our industrial nation – from what we eat to where we live, work and play. The railways generated economic activity but they also changed the nature of business itself.

"They even changed attitudes to time and how we set our clocks. Our railways reflected deep class divisions, but they also brought people together and helped forge a new sense of national identity.

“Before the railways most people lived local lives and had little, if any, interaction with people from other regions with different accents and cultures. With an expanding network people became to mix and learned to co-exist with their fellow countrymen and women.

“This documentary tells the story of how the railways changed the way we live – giving us a modern, industrial, suburban, consumer nation. This is a social, cultural and economic history of the railways.”

The show was filmed at a range of locations also including the Chester Racecourse, Manchester Piccadilly Station, Blackpool, Lake Windemere, Old Trafford and Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway Station.

‘Railways: The Making of a Nation’ will be shown on BBC One at 7.30pm on Wednesday, September 28 and will then be available on BBC iPlayer.

This episode is part of a six-part documentary series of ‘Railways: The Making of a Nation’ which will  broadcast weekly on BBC Four from 7.30pm on Thursday, September 29.