The line into Victoria from Stewarts Lane was built by the Victoria Station & Pimlico Railway, strongly backed by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. The Grosvenor Canalprovided a suitable course and the canal basin at the western end of Victoria Street a convenient site for the station. Construction began in 1859. The LBSCR had subscribed two-thirds of the VS&PR capital and therefore obtained its own section of the terminus while arrangements were made with the London, Chatham & Dover Railway and the Great Western Railway for their lease of the eastern side. Naturally this entailed mixed gauge track from Longhedge junction, Battersea, which the GWR would reach by the West London Extension Railway. Grosvenor bridge across the Thames was the first railway bridge over the river in the London area; it was désigned by John Fowler, engineer of the VS & PR, and took exactly one year from the commencement of construction to the passage of thefirst train, on 9 lune 1860. The Brighton side of the station opened in October 1860 while the LCDR and GWR side came into use in August 1862. The influential inhabitants of Belgravia had insisted upon the sleepers being mounted upon rubber to reduce the noise. The GWR ran trains to Victoria from Southall, and later from Uxbridge, Reading, Slough and Windsor, with a number of other brief experiments. The Great Northern was to run trains from Barnet, the Midland from South Totten-ham or Hendon both via the City Widéned Lines through Farringdon, and Lough-borough junction, and the LNWR from Broad Street via the West London line.
was during the construction of the approaches to St Pancras through the
burial ground of the church that a body in a coffin was exposed, causing
a great scandal, Proper reburial was arranged and a young assistant named
Thomas Hardy was sent to supervise; two poems resulted from the experience.
Before the Midland Railway ran into St Pancras, it had shared Kings Cross
with the GNR, obviously not a satis-factory position for a company with
the Midland's aspirations. Sanction for the 50 mile extension from Bedford
to St Pancras was granted in 1863 and work began on the ,new terminus in
1866. Barlows original plan for a double or triple roof span was changed
by the suggestion of james A liport, the Midlands general manager, that
the space below the station could be used as cellerage. A barrel of Burton
beer became the unit of Barlows calculations; the harm-ful effect of intruding
columns, which a roof of two or more spans would require, encouraged the
décision to produce a single span. Regular goods trains ran to Agar
Town goods station from September 1867 and St. Pancras itself was opened
without ceremony on 1 October 1868. Only the foundations of the hotel were
as the terminus that most conveniently serves the heart of London, Charing
Cross was reached by a line from Cannon Street West junction (later Metropolitan
junction) and crossed the Thames on the site of Brunel's 1845 suspension
bridge, built to attract custom from Surrey to Hungerford Market. The chains
and ironwork of Brunel's bridge were sold and used in the Clifton suspension
bridge, although the new lattice girder bridge used Brunel's two red brick
piers and abutments. Footways had to be provided on both sides of the new
bridge to replace the suspension bridge. A halfpenny toll was charged until
abolished in 1878 when the SER was paid the colossal sum of £98,000
by the Metropolitan Board of Works.
This bridge is for the purpose of extending the South-Eastern Railway from London-bridge to Charing-cross, where a station will be erected upon the site of the Hungerford Market. The station will be on the same level as the Strand. The bridge is to be erected upon the site of the present Suspension-bridge, which will be taken down to make room for the new bridge. The Thames at this point is 1350 feet in width, and is 30 feet deep at high water. The bridge is to be supported on cast-iron columns sunk deep into the bed of the Thames. Upon these columns the superstructure of the bridge, which will be wholly of wrought iron, is to rest. The bridge will have a minimum width of 70 feet - sufficient for four lines of way, with footpaths seven feet in width on each side, on which the passenger traffic across the Suspension-bridge will be continued. The bridge will be of eight spans, each 151/2 feet; and the height of the under side of the bridge above Trinity high-water mark will be nowhere less than 25 feet. The Act of Parliament authorising its construction was obtained last Session. The designs of the bridge have received the sanction of the Admiralty and of the Conservators of the River Thames, and the works have been commenced. Mr. Hawkshaw is the engineer of the bridge and railway, and Mr. George Wythes the contractor; but the bridge, as well as the other iron bridges along the line, are to be con-structed and erected for the contractor by Messrs. Cochrane and Co., who are executing the iron-work for Westminster-bridge.
[ILN MARCH 31 18601
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