'View of North Church Tunnel, London & Birmingham Railway', 1833-1838.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph by A Picken after a drawing by S C Bries. In 1833 Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) was appointed chief engineer of the London & Birmingham Railway (LBR), the first railway into London. Beginning at Curzon Street Station, Birmingham, and finishing at Euston Station, London, the 112 mile long line took 20,000 men nearly five years to build, at a cost of five and a half million pounds. It has been estimated that to build the railway, the navvies shifted more material than the ancient Egyptians did when they constructed the pyramids. The LBR opened on 17 September 1838.