Unbuilt London - Latest news and reviews

A series of articles about the various plans to build, often monumental schemes that never came to pass. Broken dreams of a shiny future, or dystopian hells.


Unbuilt London: The Outer Loop Railway

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.


Unbuilt London: Heathrow Airport’s High-Speed Monorail

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!


Unbuilt London: How Charing Cross nearly became a giant helipad

Imagine if you will, a giant flat surface larger than Trafalgar Square overhanging the River Thames -- this was the proposed central London Helidrome.


Unbuilt London: Farringdon’s massive railway terminus

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.


Unbuilt London: The Victorian skyscraper taller than The Shard

Around 160 years ago, plans were announced for a skyscraper in London that would have a summit even higher than The Shard stands today.


Unbuilt London: The almost story of a loop railway under Southwark

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.


Unbuilt London: A travolator on top of London Bridge

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.


Unbuilt London: The Victorian proposal for a railway to Westminster Abbey

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.


Unbuilt London: A roller-coaster monorail under the streets of London

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.


Unbuilt London: The railway in the middle of the Thames

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.


Unbuilt London: Victorian plans to encircle London with a Crystalline Railway

Bend your imagination to thoughts of the grandest of grand Victorian visions, and encircle the centre of our Metropolis with a vast crystal snake.


Unbuilt London: The City Terminus Railway

Mr Charles Pearson was a City Solicitor, and politician of great ambition for London's railways, but sadly for him at least, very little direct success.


Unbuilt London: Victorian Railway Stations that Tried to Span the Thames

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


Unbuilt London: Monumental buildings that never were

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”. Both hosted by RIBA, and despite allowing a suggested hour+


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