I was doing a bit more research into the pneumatic railway that I have working on for a while, and came across this totally unrelated image, but it got me thinking.
This is of a pneumatic railway concept which would be built above a main road – and as I looked at it, I couldn’t help but think what a fantastic idea it would be for Oxford Street – not for a railway, but to put busses on the upper level and give shoppers a wide shopping “arcade” below.
Not only would it make shopping on Oxford St., much more pleasent, but also the busses would be able to travel faster as there would be fewer pedestrian crossings delaying the transit of the bus from one end to the other of Oxford Street.
I guess some “ground floor” roads would still cross Oxford St., and the covered arcade wouldn’t be air conditioned – just covered over to protect the shoppers from the worst of the weather – not unlike maybe the Victorian shopping market at Leadenhall Market.
I guess that Oxford Circus would also be covered over as it would be a pain to bring the busses back down to the juntion – and buses would drop down to road level via side roads leading off from Oxford St.
It would not be unique in concept – just in scale. The shopping center at Hammersmith has a bus station built above it.
Oh well, we can but dream
The photo is from the City of London archives and is a view of the trunk viaduct of the London Union Railway. A proposal by James Clephan for an elevated pneumatic railway linking London’s main termini.