The Railways is directly responsible for various standardizations. For instance, prior to the railways, communities all over the UK made their own local time as it suited them. Bristol led the Greenwich Mean time by 10 minutes and this was alright considering the speed that horses and humans took. However, a structured transport system such as the railways posed a problem of punctuality and precision, which cannot be achieved if the source and destination are not synced in time.
Following city specific times is not that big of a concern as long as the differences are locally agreeable and not too difficult to maintain timetables with. Unfortunately, that stopped working as the Railways grew in size. Ultimately, they adopted a standard time which eventually was the GMT in 1847. By 1855 all cities and towns had adjusted their clocks accordingly. Time keeping was done henceforth using the telegraph system to ensure all cities and towns operated on the same time.
Not Just Time but Also Labels
Design too gradually became standardized. The Railway authorities soon understood that platforms were becoming an advertising mayhem and passengers were finding it hard to figure out the station name. The solution was a standardized label all over the country for station name, platform and so on. The Blue bar with station name imprinted within a red circle was designed very early and has persevered till date.