One of a series of photographs by Henry Flather showing the construction, undertaken between 1866 and 1870, of the Metropolitan District Railway's (MDR) underground lines between Paddington and Blackfriars via Kensington. The line laid by the MDR from the 1860s onwards was designed to provide a rail connection for travellers between London's mainline railway terminals, situated in a ring around the city centre. It now forms part of the existing District and Circle Lines on the London Underground. This view shows work in progress on the Victoria Embankment in front of Somerset House. The section of line from Westminster to Blackfriars opened on 30 May 1870, and the Victoria Embankment itself was formally opened on 13 July of the same year.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library