'Building Retaining Wall, near Park Street, Camden Town', 1836.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph by John Cooke Bourne, from a collection of views of the construction of the London & Birmingham Railway (LBR). In 1833 Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) was appointed chief engineer of the 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. The tremendous scale of the works necesary to link Camden Town, originally intended to be the site of the railway's London terminus, to Euston is well captured by Bourne's drawing. The LBR opened on 17 September 1838.