'Tring Cutting', Hertfordshire, 17 June 1837.
© NRM / Pictorial Collection / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph drawn and lithographed by John Cooke Bourne, showing the excavation of a cutting at Tring, Hertfordshire, on the London & Birmingham Railway (LBR). In 1833 Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) was appointed chief engineer of the LBR, the first railway into London. Running between Curzon Street Station, Birmingham, and 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. Tring cutting was 2 and a half miles in length and an average of 40 feet deep. All the earth was shifted by labourers using picks, shovels and wheelbarrows. Horses helped to pull the men and barrows up the sides of the embankment. The LBR opened on 17 September 1838.