Table of Contents
The aim of the morphology chapter is to demonstrate the integration of technological evolution in economic and social areas in Oxford, together with the adjacent neighborhood.
The topics will cover three main points, including the evolution of trains and railway infrastructure; social and economic development of Oxford and therefore, the transformation in architecture and environment under the influence of urbanisation (such as, the appearance of a public factory, warehouse, storage, and manufactory). Modernisation increases the possibilities of planning a railway station – ensuring accurate train travel (such as, exploitation, troubleshooting and sustainable transport).
Most people work in large cities but live in the suburbs, for their comfort (fresh air, less noise, and around extended family). Urbanisation negatively influences the suburb’s quiet zone. As large cities expand, the suburbs move further away from the city centre.
By 2050 it is predicted that 64.1% and 85.9% of the developing and developed world respectively will be urbanised. Urbanisation is closely linked to modernisation, industrialisation, and the sociological process of rationalisation (ScienceDaily, 2017).
Three main categories of people use this station: workers, students, and tourists. Each one uses the station for their needs. An increased distance of travel, however, means more time lost travelling. Oxford is notable for its combination of students, workers, and tourists. Most issues produced by Oxford’s train station are the lack of links to bigger cities in the United Kingdom, thereby causing logical delays, such as transfers and schedule.
Delay issues can be resolved with a solution encompassing shortcuts to areas outside Oxford or at least one transfer point to any important destinations, such as Manchester or Liverpool. Using the latest technology allows the establishment of direct shortcuts through the railway station; giving it one departure station and a destination station, for example, Oxford-Manchester.
Each new change of a part changes the development of a city or district. The development of the train stations has always greatly influenced the varied changes in the history of humankind, such as the history of the USA.
The railways always play an important role in people’s life: logistics of manufacturing, food, raw materials and passenger transportation. Several key factors in logistics are time, place and safety. This is not always possible to apply correctly, because railway logistical structures over time lose its primeval task, mainly due to urbanisation. If one station loses its significance, simultaneously, any stations not adapted become important components of logistical structures. Such a fate befell Oxford thanks to the urbanisation of London.
Certain stations did not have the opportunity to investigate the necessary technological components which, for example, affected the modernisation of the Oxford station. The railway station’s capacity was not adjusted for the required logistical capacity; therefore, requiring fundamental changes. Single departure and destination stations, such as Oxford-Manchester can be founded, and thus shortcuts created, if using the latest technology.
The process of industrialisation and therefore urbanisation had a strong influence on politics. The development of heavy industry was a profitable business, because entrepreneurs had sufficient financial resources to help in the capital. They could influence the political processes in the country for their benefit. This was expressed as monopolisation of individual trade sectors – the elimination of competition, and the development of the logistics system for one’s business. It follows that some rail stations were important logistic points, others were unimportant – only decreasing logistic pressure.
Evolution of trains and railway infrastructure
In the eighteenth century, from the 1760s to the 1780s, firstly in England and afterward other countries, began to show the first signs of industrialisation. Enginery gradually replaced manual works. Handcraft workshops and manufactory began to disappear and were being replaced with large industrial companies, for example, ferrous metallurgy public factory. The pre-industrialised century stopped influencing the development of the world, which was becoming replaced by a century of industrialisation (Oxford Preservation Trust, 2016). Heavy physical work was performed with manual mechanical machines and mechanisms; only the technological process of the machine system was monitored.
The first railroad tracks were used for a long time in the mines. In the 1801s-passenger transportation was introduced, using horse-drawn tram (first introduced in England). Existing land transport (Fardier de Cugnot– steam engine powered vehicle and animal – powered transport) did not provide the needful carrying capacity, so entrepreneurs started to look for new transport systems and rails.
Due to the fragility of cast iron rails, manufacturers started to produce rails from iron. The steam locomotive first appeared in 1804s. In the early 1900s diesel and electric locomotives began to replace steam locomotives (Catford, 2017). The initial stage, of train and railway infrastructure evolution was accomplished in the 1935s. The railways were gradually converted into diesel and electric locomotives. The main changes affected a part of railway infrastructure; requiring new components, such as traction current converter plant, distribution lines and inductive charging systems (Oxford Preservation Trust, 2016).
Infrastructures are the means to ensuring the functioning of the city, and sometimes explain its origin. Their importance led the Modern Movement to use them as the basis for their propositional structure: Le Corbusier described infrastructures as communicating with seven levels or “ways,” corresponding to different levels in their organisational hierarchy (El-Khoury and Robbins, 2004)
Nowadays, railways exploitation is based on diesel and electric locomotives. They, however, have a transition on ecological, fast speed and artificial intelligence systems – electric and inductive train, therefore monorails, such as magnetic levitation trains – maglev).
Unfortunately, Oxford railway station did not experience great changes: no international stations despite the importance of its city status as a student’s and tourist’s centre. The distribution lines process of electrification is not complete; and logistical delay exists in the lack of main transfer stations (Catford, 2017).
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Social and economic development of Oxford
The development of the logistics infrastructure provides an opportunity to live and thrive in tourism. Accessibility of transport in some parts of the world has always been a major problem, both for railroads and mainland routes. This problem is usually associated with large capital investments, which do not always have a rational explanation at first glance, for example, the Death Valley (national park).
People’s interest in historical and culture-forming objects, as well as unique natural places, has always been in demand. Since the development of tourism, it has begun to positively influence the economic well-being of those territories where tourist sites were located (Kirby, 2002). Therefore, railway tracks, highways, hotels, restaurants, cafes began to be built, and various entertainment events were held (Rail Delivery Group, 2015). All this was done so that tourists can reach the destination without much difficulty. As well, they could stay there for the night with comfort and engage in other activities in the evening.
One such facility in Oxford is a city with an interesting history that attracts not only tourists but also students from all over the world. Many of these students come to get higher education at Oxford University, which is considered one of the best in the whole world. The development of the city was greatly influenced by the Victorian era – at that time England was experiencing a period of economic growth and industrial revolution (Cateridge, 2015). At this time in Oxford, the first Oxford railway station was launched which gave a very strong impetus for the diverse development of the city. Therefore, the city develops under the influence of two components: the culture of tourists and student life.
It is clear that many people were fans of Harry Porter and would travel long distances to Oxford to have quality time with friends and family. Mainly, Oxford was considered a city characterised by a beehive of activities. For example, the long queues outside the well-known Potter locations of Christchurch College or the Bodleian Divinity School are made up of much younger fans than those of Inspector Morse, with many still in their teens and therefore unable to make the same types of decisions to travel opportunities available to older tourists (Cateridge, 2015).
Oxford is not a large city, where you cannot find major historical monuments and tourist attractions. But, despite this, the number of foreigners who want to visit the city rise in thousands. Urban architecture plays an important role in attracting tourists (Kirby, 2002). The architecture of many colleges at Oxford University is beautiful and further important for the city (Rail Delivery Group, 2015). The Cathedral of Oxford University at Christ Church College attracts fans of Harry Potter films, because it is here that several scenes from the films were shot. The college canteen served as a dining room decoration for the school of witchcraft and the magic of Hogwarts. College libraries also have a great deal of attention from foreigners, thanks to the extensive assortment of unique literature. Being in the library, it is easy to enjoy the architecture of buildings and get acquainted with their history.
Transformation in architecture and environment
Oxford is one of the few cities that have kept its historical significance intact. It has managed to avoid being wiped away by the force of the modern world so much like Rome. With the most extraordinary transformation, Oxford opened the new Westgate, generating more than 3,500 full-time jobs. In particular, it has been a small city from the beginning, and now Oxford is expanding with more modernised parts put in place to suit the modern generation.
Oxford is an expensive city, from the ancient times, and only the wealthy could come here and live a better life, which entailed having quality and expensive education and up and running businesses. Presently, the cost of living in Oxford is still high. One of the reasons for this is because it is close to the capital and therefore gives people bigger, greater and better opportunities both for students and tourists (Lloyds Banks, 2017).
Oxford is also described as the most unaffordable city in the world. Mainly, the cost of living in Oxford is measured based on the cost of purchasing a house. According to Lloyds Banks’ Data as cited in the Guardian Magazine by Kollewe (2017), the cost of purchasing a home in five cities is currently more than 10 times the average income locally, which is brought about by the rise in the price of houses tagged along by a slow growth of wages as illustrated in Figure 1 below. Lloyds Banks (2017) indicates that the price of a home is about £385,372, which proves that Oxford city is expensive as illustrated further in table 1 below. It is, however, important to note that there are a lot of options to take in Oxford whether for the business or education.
Table 1: Oxford City Affordability from 2007-2017
Source: (Lloyd Banks 2017, p. 3).
Figure 1: Oxford’s price to earnings ratio
Source: Lloyd Banks as cited in (Kollewe, 2017).
Overall, a great precondition for the development and modernisation of Oxford railway stations is creative and innovative thinking of engineers and architects. At this point the main changes to occur in the infrastructure of Oxford railway stations –for the next five years roughly, is the completion of electrification. This results in the following advantages: electric locomotives have a much faster (high engine power efficiency) and improved motion compared to diesel locomotives. In this regard, they help save time and money. As well, it entails the use of an electric motor that does not harm the environment, which is because it prevents pollution that entails the emission of greenhouse gases. Besides, the electric locomotives generate less exhaust noise and mechanical noise, which reduces noise pollution in the city centres, further giving the city dwellers and users a comfortable living environment, devoid of ear or hearing problems as a result of a loud engine or exhaust noises. As well, the electric trains are more accurate when slowing down nearby platforms, also referred to as a good damping of the moment of inertia as compared to the ancient locomotive that takes a lot of time and effort to come to a stop. Such an advantage helps reduce accidents and also increase the number of destinations for the passengers.
Oxford railway station (Park End St.) is well situated. It is near the city centre, with good accessibility to public transport and taxes.
The main disadvantage occurs at the peak hour when the traffic of passengers near the station is hampered. Therefore, the layout of the station building needs redesigning but not necessarily remodelled to the international station standard. This is because there are no train way corridors directly to other cities.
Based on the economic and logistical factors, Oxford railway station (Park End St.) needs to be modernised as follows: completion of the second floor (waiting hall); station functionality – the first floor provides for the movement of passengers who have just arrived, but the second floor provides the movement of passengers who are waiting for the train. It is necessary to avoid the underground pedestrian crossings to reduce the pressure on urban traffic.
The main vision of the future Oxford railway station (Park End St.): developing shortcuts to the outside of Oxford or at least one transfer to any important destination (Manchester, Liverpool). Two potential options are offered: 1) Using the French experience – using existing railways building fast moving trains, which stop only on the station’s platforms. These have an important status in the UK (such as RER system); 2) Using the Japanese experience – using Maglev technology to easily overcome natural and logistical difficulties. This, however, is very expensive.
Each new change in some part changes the development of a certain city or district. The development of the train stations has always had a great influence on the varied changes in the history of humankind, such as the USA history. Upgrading of Oxford train station (Park End St.) will change the logistics load on the city and the economic situation of the city – due to the arrival of tourists.
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- Cateridge, J. (2015). Deep Mapping and Screen Tourism: The Oxford of Harry Potter and Inspector Morse. Humanities, 4(3), pp.320-333.
- Catford, N. (2017). Station Name: Oxford Rewley Road. [online] Available at: http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/o/oxford_rewley_road/ [Accessed 17 Dec. 2017].
- El-Khoury, R. and Robbins, E. (2004). Shaping the City: Studies in History, Theory and Urban Design.UK: Routledge. pp.15-16.
- Kirby, M. W. (2002). The Origins of Railway Enterprise: The Stockton and Darlington Railway 1821-1863. UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Kollewe, J. (2017). Oxford once again tops list of UK’s least affordable places to live. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/feb/25/oxford-once-again-tops-list-of-uks-least-affordable-places-to-live [Accessed 17 Dec. 2017].
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- ScienceDaily. (2017). Urbanization. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/urbanization.htm [Accessed 17 Dec. 2017].