London has in recent years gained a loop railway that runs around the suburbs, but 100 years ago, a proposal was made for a much larger loop which would have dramatically changed how we see the city today.
Back when London was surrounded by more green and had just one airport, a radical scheme was cooked up for a high-speed monorail linking city to airport. And not just any monorail — these “trains” could also run on roads!
Imagine if you will, a giant flat surface larger than Trafalgar Square overhanging the River Thames — this was the proposed central London Helidrome.
A giant railway terminus was once planned for central London that would have swept away all the land between Holborn and Farringdon. Obviously never built, its failure indirectly lead to the creation of the London Underground.
Around 160 years ago, plans were announced for a skyscraper in London that would have a summit even higher than The Shard stands today.
Imagine a tube tunnel running under Southwark and the City, but carrying full size mainline trains — and you would be imagining something that was actually proposed.
When London Bridge was being shipped off the to USA, one of the ideas mooted for its modern replacement was a high level, covered travolator to help speed pedestrians from the railway station to the City.
Back in the late 1980s, plans were seriously looked at which could have seen a new Northern Line spur constructed between Kennington, and either Streatham, or along the proposed Bakerloo Line extension, towards Peckham.
Fairly recently, a chap called Moffat wrote a story about an underground railway in Westminster — to considerable fury of tube geeks who spent an inordinate time chewing over holes in the plot.
A little over 100 years ago a radical new form of underground railway was proposed — a monorail of most unusual design, but one that would be designed like an underground roller coaster with sharp declines and ascents between stations.
Imagine if you will, a city straining to cope with a growing population and a transport network barely able to keep up. Lots of plans are submitted for new railway schemes to deal with the bottleneck, but all have one major downside — the destruction of vast swathes of housing and factories.
Bend your imagination to thoughts of the grandest of grand Victorian visions, and encircle the centre of our Metropolis with a vast crystal snake.
Blackfriars railway station has recently become the first station to span right across the River Thames, with entrances on both sides of the river – but it wasn’t the first time that someone tried to put a railway bridge across…
Last night I wandered along to the V&A for one of their Friday night events, mainly for a couple of exhibitions on “vanishing London” and “Buildings that were never built”.