Globalisation and the memorialising of railway industrial heritage

Lucy Taksa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper seeks to identify the interface between different forms of globalisation and between oral history and heritage by examining the adaptive re-use of a number of railway workshops in different parts of the world. Specifically it considers the extent to which oral history has been used to recreate the atmosphere and experience of industrial labour at the Eveleigh railway worksl1ops in Sydney, the Swindon Railway Workshops in the United Kingdom and the first railway works built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in Altoona, USA. All three sites stand at the interface between the modern and post-colonial forms of globalisation, having been built during the former phase and closed during the later phase. In the age of de-industrialisation, these artefacts now provide the venue for a whole new cycle of capital development. Through these three cases, the paper demonstrates how the re-colonisation of industrial sites, the memorialising of the industrial era and sustainable development are combined as a response to the economic effects of globalisation and de-industrialisation. In doing so, I indicate the way these connections de-politicise the present as much as the past by concealing the conflictual aspects of the industrial era and also how the past becomes part of the present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalHistoric environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • railways
  • national estate
  • globalisation
  • economic development


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