'Mill Lane archway and excavation at Olive Mount', 1830s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph. Built under the supervision of chief engineer George Stephenson (1781-1848), the Liverpool & Manchester Railway (LMR) was the world's first intercity railway. The Olive Mount Cutting, on the LMR route near Liverpool, was one of the first extensive cuttings on any railway, and is still considered one of the most formidable. It is approximately two miles long, and in some parts nearly 80 feet (25 metres) deep. The sandstone rock was blasted out and used to construct the Roby Embankment and the Sankey Viaduct, also on the LMR.