Building of the Metropolitan Railway, London, 1862.
3 4 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 26cm

Building of the Metropolitan Railway, London, 1862.

© National Railway Museum / Science & Society Picture Library -- All rights reserved


Photograph of contractor's officials posed in a cutting in a street with demolished houses, with a stationary steam engine powering machinery in the background. The Metropolitan Railway opened the world's first underground railway on 10 January 1863, it was built to link London's three main railway stations, Paddington, Euston and King's Cros. Construction caused great disruption in London's streets and was built using the 'Cut and Cover' method. Houses were demolished and the track was laid in huge cuttings lined with brickwork. They were then roofed over and the streets rebuilt. The photograph is one of a series commisioned by the engineer who designed the railway, Sir John Fowler.

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