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Who built the first underground metro system?

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2011-02-22 21:40:21
2011-02-22 21:40:21

Lots of people who worked on the construction of the first part of the London Underground (1860-1863), most notably Sir John Fowler.

There has never been a specific station for 'Central London', only the various termini coming into the capital, terminating at an agreed (The 1846 Royal Commission on Metropolitan Railway Termini) line that no railway would traverse - a line that now forms the Circle line.

One specific person can not be named - even in the planning stage, the Metropolitan Railway Company was a public company, sold by shares, so it was always a 'corporate' construction. However, three people should be mentioned who did not actually build the railway but helped it come into being.

Charles Pearson, a city solicitor had encouraged the movement of trains under the city of London even before the first Commission sat (1846). He billed parliament to investigate the idea and eventually, from his persistence, the Commission was born.

It was the evolution of tunnel building technology that allowed such a thought; Marc Isambard Brunel took a patent on a tunnelling method and from 1825 to 1842 he constructed the Thames Tunnel using a rectangular shield and brick lining method.

In 1862, Peter William Barlow, when sinking cylinders into the Thames to form the base of the old Lambeth suspension bridge, realised that the cast-iron cylinders he used to sink into London Clay could be used horizontally.

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