John Speller's Web Pages Metropolitan Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge

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The first underground railway in the world was built by "cut-and-cover" methods between Paddington and Faringdon Street in London and opened as a mixed gauge gauge railway in January 1863. The engineer was Sir John Fowler, Bart., LL.D. The line was at first a mere 3 miles long. At first it was worked by the Great Western Railway on the 7' 0" gauge but the Metropolitan soon found itself dissatisfied with the service it received from the GWR. This was mainly because the GWR was far too conservative for the Metropolitan's go-ahead General Manager Myles Fenton. Accordingly the the Great Northern Railway took over and ran narrow gauge trains from 1 November 1863. For a year or two some joint GWR/Metropolitan trains continued to be run through to Windsor on the broad gauge. The broad gauge rails were finally removed in 1869. Later the Metropolitan Railway ran its own trains, electrified, and became part of the London Transport. And the rest is history ...
Metropolitan train behind a Gooch 2-4-0T at Edgware Road station, 1863. The gas for lighting was carried in rubber bags in the clerestory-like boxes on top of the carriages
The underground station at King's Cross.
Trial run on the Metropolitan Railway at Praed Street (Paddington) station shortly before opening. The gentleman with his elbow on the side of the truck was W. E. Gladstone
Another view of the VIP trial run, near Portland Road station from the "Illustrated London News." With all the smoke it must have been a choking experience for those involved
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