John Speller's Web Pages East London Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - Other Railways
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Though nominally an independent company East London Railway was jointly leased by no fewer than six different railways the Great Eastern, London Brighton & South Coast, the London Chatham & Dover, the South Eastern, the Metropolitan and the Metropolitan District Railways. The East London Railway was authorized by an Act of 1865 and opened from New Cross to Wapping on 7 December 1869 and was operated by the LB&SCR, who were obliged to run a minimum of 18 trains each way daily as a condition of their agreement. The line was extended to Shoreditch on 19 April 1876 enabling Great Eastern trains from Liverpool Street to use the line. At the instigation of the Chairman of the East London Railway, the redoubtable Sir Edward Watkins, on 3 March 1884 a spur to the Whitechapel & Bow Railway at Aldgate East was opened, enabling Metropolitan Railway and Metropolitan District Railway trains to use the line, and in particular for Metropolitan Railway trains to run through to King's Cross, Baker Street and Paddington via the Circle Line. In theory this would have allowed through running of trains from Manchester and Sheffield to Dover and Folkestone, which is doubtless what Sir Edward had in mind.

The East London Railway is carried under the River Thames by means of the Thames Tunnel at Rotherhithe, built by Sir Marc Isambard Brunel (1769-1849) and his son Isambard Kingdon Brunel (1806-1853) between 1825 and 1843. The rest of the line was engineered by Sir John Hawkshaw (1811-1891). In all the line is 5 miles in length.

The East London Railway has recently been updated as a key part of the "London Overground" and is due to be extended to Highbury and Islington in May 2011.
Map of the East London Railway. Surrey Docks station was known as Deptford Road before 1911 and is now known as Surrey Quays
Brighton "Terrier" No. 59 "Cheam" at Shoreditch in around 1900
The East London Railway at Wapping, showing the entrance to Brunel's Thames Tunnel. From the Illustrated London News 8 January 1870
Another early view of Wapping station with an LB&SCR train emerging from one of the twin bores of Brunel's Thames Tunnel behind a Craven 2-4-0 well tank. In 1869 the LB&SCR built two new 2-4-0 side tanks at Brighton Works, Nos. 51 and 109, for use on the East London Railway. These were the last locomotives designed by John Craven before his retirement
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