The coming of the railways gouged, scoured, and re-made the British landscape more dramatically than any process since the glaciers of the Ice Age went to work millennia before. Embankments, cuttings, bridges, tunnels were built, embedded, imposed, as the web of iron, wood, and stone was spun across the island.
More enduring than bronze now is this monument I have made, one to reach over the Pyramids’ regal heaps, one that no greedy devouring rain, that no blustering north wind nor the run of long years unnumbered nor ages’ flight can ruin. I’ll not die entirely, some principal part of me yet evading the great Goddess of Burials. (Ode III.30 – Horace, trans. John Hollander)