Wash drawings by John Cooke Bourne, from a collection of views on the construction of the London & Birmingham Railway (LBR). The central image shows the Blythe Viaduct, Hampton in Arden, while the four vignettes surrounding it depict (clockwise from top left) the cleaning, building, levelling and opening of the railway. In 1833, Robert Stephenson (1803-1859) was appointed chief engineer of the LBR, the first railway into London. Running from Curzon Street Station, Birmingham, to 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 LBR opened on 17 September 1838.
© NRM / Pictorial Collection / Science & Society Picture Library