Brunel, Stephenson, Locke and Vignoles – these were the magic names.
And under them 10,000 laboured, blasting, shovelling and digging, changing
the contours of Britain for a new age of railways.
Among them is Nick Wortley, whose love for the daughter of the local mill owner
is cruelly thwarted. Taking flight he is drawn by the irresistable clamour of the great
Sheffield to Manchester, a railway which is preparing to drive a path of steel under the
Pennines. Stephenson said it was impossible; Nick and his companions will prove
him wrong, but at a terrible price…