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London’s Lost Pneumatic Railways – Part 2

"in its present form the pneumatic system is simply an adaptation of the process of sailing to railway; the wind being produced by steam power and confined within the limits of a tube."


London’s Lost Pneumatic Railways

In an age of steam locomotives and horse drawn carriages, a group of Victorians tried to build the world's first true tube tunnel railway. A railway that would have also harnessed the power of the atmosphere to propel carriages in a manner that would astound the people of the time.


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


An unusual train movement on the London Underground

Earlier this morning, something happened that hasn’t been seen for over 65 years – a tube train left Waterloo and arrived at Bank, carrying passengers. Yes, to help cope with the deluge of passengers for the Olympics, the Waterloo and


Today marks the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Panda Crossing

Today marks the 50th anniversary of a short lived experiment in road crossings with the very first one opening outside Waterloo Station in 1962, and vanishing just five years later. The Panda Crossing was seen as an upgrade to the


The year that you could catch a Helicopter from Waterloo Station

In the days before the¬†Piccadilly Line reached Heathrow Airport how would a person of means in Central London get to the airport if they didn’t want to use the roads? Why, they could fly of course – and from just


The “secret crypt” under St John’s Church in Waterloo

In response to the spiritual needs of a growing population, in 1818 the Parliament voted funds for the building of a series of new churches in cities, and one such church is the Neoclassical Doric pile just outside Waterloo Station.


All Hail the Super Docking Station!

My RSS tracker for TfL’s press releases had an alert that the new Boris Bike stand at Waterloo Station has been completed – offering space for 126 of the blue velocipedes. Oddly, the press release was removed from the TfL


Dante’s Inferno in the tunnels under Waterloo Station

If you are going to set up an art event themed around a fourteenth-century poem, then the abandoned arches underneath a mainline train station probably sounds like it will deliver the suitable atmosphere to evoke the subterranean hell. Fortunately, this


More on the Waterloo & Whitehall Railway

Long term readers may recall that I am slowly researching the history of the Waterloo and Whitehall Railway – a short lived attempt to build a pneumatic railway in an iron tube running under the River Thames between Great Scotland