The importance of roads is illustrated in many paintings of country life. The poor walked, whilst the better-off could ride in a cart or mail coach, and the well-off had horses or carriages of their own. Goods were carried across countries by horse and cart. Roads were poorly maintained until the arrival of the turnpike; Ford Madox Brown’s Work sets roadworks in their social and political worlds.
Railways transformed the efficiency of land transport just as its bridges and viaducts transformed the countryside. Trains and railway stations were a great social melting pot. Some of the most famous nineteenth-century paintings are of the railway: Frith’s The Railway Station and Monet’s Gare Saint Lazare both celebrate modern life in very different styles.