London railway alternative design

Imagine if you will of streets lined with decorative arcades that protected Victorians from the weather and above their heads, a marvel of the age – a silent railway without steam.

This was 1846, and Mr James Clephan had founded the London Railway company with capital of £5 million to build a loop railway around the centre of London mimicking the route that is today served by the Circle Line.

However, it would also have run through the heart of the city, and while railways had enormous powers to demolish houses in urban areas that got in the way of their iron machines — the City was a far stronger foe to do battle with.