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Building the London Underground

Updated Wednesday, 7th September 2016

In 1853, Parliament gave permission for the world's first underground railway. It promised a short, cheap burst of luxury travel - and to run the buses out of business.

	
Construction of the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway. Illustration shows the trench and partially completed cut and cover tunnel close to Kings Cross station, London. The railway opened in 1863. Copyright free  image Icon Copyright free: The Illustrated London News Construction of the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway. Illustration shows the trench and partially completed cut and cover tunnel close to Kings Cross station, London. The railway eventually opened in 1863.

Intended Subterranean Metropolitan Railway

Among the Bills which have received the sanction of Parliament, there is one which relates to a project, which, when known, will excite very great interest in the metropolis.

It is for the purpose of making a railway under the ground from the lower end of the Edgware Road to the Lings Cross.

The subterranean railway will, for the most part, run beneath the New Road.

The estimated capital for the execution of the work is £300,000 and, as a proof that the scheme can be completed for this sum, a responsible contractor has already offered to undertake the execution of it at considerably less than the amount we have specified.

What is more, a party of the highest respectability has engaged to give a guarantee of six per cent for a period of twenty years, on the amount of the capital expended.

The length of this underground railway will be less than two miles and a half. There will be stations at very short distances - say, at every quarter of a mile; and it si intended that the charges shall be so moderate that the omnibuses running along the New Road will not have a chance against their subterranean rival.

The charge for the whole distance in first-class will be only twopence.

The carriages will be superior to anything to be found on any railway in England.

Owing to the nature of the substratum along the course of the line, it will be perfectly free from damp all the way; and, as every carriage will be abundantly lighted, the ride will be pleasant in the highest degree.

The works will be speedily commenced, and it is expected that the line will be in full operation in little more than twelve months.

-The York Herald and General Advertiser, August 6th, 1853

 

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