The Railway King – George Hudson, the eponymous Railway King, started his career with a stroke of luck, inheriting 27,000 poundsâ€”a fortune in 1827â€”from a distant relative. He invested successfully in the North Midland Railway, then formed his own Midland Railway, raising 5 million pounds and bribing MPs along the way. But from his glory in 1845 he fell into disgrace, admitting corruption and selling land he did not own. He was eventually imprisoned in York Castle and died a broken man in 1871. His story provides an insight into 19th-century politics and industrial progress, full of moral dilemmas and also a testimony to the growth of the railways in Britain.