The first day of the East London Line extension to West Croydon – in the style of a Victorian Newspaper. Hopefully.

Readers may recall the recent news of the reopening of the East London Line railway that passes under the River Thames by means of Mr. Brunel’s impressive subaqueous tunnel near Wapping, and may be interested to learn that the second phase of the railway’s relentless expansion has come to its successful fruition.

The railway, which has traditionally terminated at New Cross Gate in South London will now continue past the station where trains were turned around, and will pass down through the picturesque villages of South London to reach the fast improving town of Croydon.

The extension of the railway, by wise council of the management at our unified transport authority will bring a much needed link between the far south of the Metropolis and its North-Eastern regions and can only add to the ever improving public transport options available to the tradesmen and residents in the area.

Residents of the New Cross and Croydon areas will particularly benefit from the education and entertainments now easily and conveniently available at the Horniman Museum, of which readers may be aware, was created by the generous donations of businessman, Frederick Horniman and later improved upon by his son.

Readers will be impressed to learn that the work to upgrade the pre-existing railway line in preparation for the new service needed but a new flyover near New Cross to facilitate the Northbound trains and new signalling works. It is truly a marvel that such a substantial improvement to the railway network can be enjoyed by the populace by so small an amount of effort and expenditure.

The Transport authority seeking to promote the day of festivities that marked the first day of services between New Cross and Croydon declared a holiday from payments for the first 10,000 passengers and offered a commemorative wallet along with a replica of an early ticket as would have been issued by our forebears.

It was noted by your correspondent that the launch was however a much more subdued affair than that which had accompanied the launch of the East London Line from Dalston Junction in the North of the City some weeks earlier. However, the journey was punctuated by much commentary from his fellow passengers, all of whom were of the opinion that the new trains, designed by Messrs Bombardier & Co of Derby were of the highest order and much to be commended.

Particularly of note was the evolution of the long “American style” carriages which were introduced to the country around 100 years ago to a design that enables a person entering the rear of the train to walk through to the very front unimpeded by the usual cumbersome doors and blockages. Such innovations shall surely lead to a more pleasant journey as crowds who rush to catch a train will no longer be confined to the carriage in which they had embarked.

The weather being particularly fine on this launch day, it was also appreciated that while we may have long past done away with the foul stenches of the stream engines, the interior of the trains were never as comfortable as they will now become with the new air cooling systems that has been installed inside the carriages.

Readers who subscribe to the new politics of the socialist classes will be reassured that there is no fare division within the trains, with both gentleman and labourer sharing the same services alike.

The route itself is worthy of note being one of some considerable historic interest. The route closely follows an earlier canal network which was sadly a commercial failure for its designers, but which left a path for the London & Croydon Railway Company to avail itself of the cleared land for the development of the steam railway. The story of the canal was recently reported in detail by Messrs. Diamonds and Geezers in their illustrious publication. We ourselves have recently regaled our readers with news of the experiments with the Atmospheric Railway which, while sadly not a success, it’s attempt caused considerable, and quite justifiable excitement at the time.

We hope and desire that the latest change to this important transport link will prove more successful than its predecessors, and look forward to the third phase of the railway which will link it with that great transport hub of Clapham Junction just two years hence.


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