I came a cross a nice project yesterday developed by Distilled for the Trainline.com that visualises nearly 200 year of railway openings across Britain.

Click image to open interactive version (via thetrainline.com).

This interactive/animated piece tells an interesting story about the industrial and economic dynamics of Britain from the industrial age to the modern day. The inclusion of key historical or social milestones is a useful device to learn about some of the key catalysts for growth or expansion.

The data is taken from a dataset compiled and published on the Guardian Datablog containing all of the rail stations currently operating in the UK. You'll notice stylistic similarities with Derek Watkins 'Posted' project (visualising expansion of post offices across the US), which is a piece the designers reference as being an inspiration.

You can read more about the background to the project here.

Reflections from Visualized conference
Best of the visualisation web... September 2012