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MET 1866 Metropolitan District Railway (Inner Circle)


    The present Metropolitan Railway, extending from Bishop’s-road to Moorgate-street, forms, as is very generally known, but the northern side of an irregular "circle" of underground railways which will surround that part of the metropolis lying between the existing line and the Thames.

    Of this "inner circle", as it is called, the Metropolitan District Railway will form the southern side, whilst the eastern and western portions will be formed by extensions of the Metropolitan Railway, Acts for the construction of these additional lines, of which Mr. John Fowler and Mr. T. Marr Johnson are the joint engineers, having been obtained in 1864.

    From the map given on page 327, in which the Metropolitan District and the Metropolitan Extension Railways are shown in dotted lines, it will be seen that, at the eastern end, the extension of the Metropolitan Railway is to be carried under Bishopsgate-street, near Houndsditch, and that it will then curve to the south, extending, under Aldgate High-street and the Minories, to Trinity-square.

    At Trinity-square the Metropolitan District Railway will commence, and from this point it will proceed nearly parallel to the river until it cuts the line of the new street which is to be constructed from Blackfriars-bridge to the Mansion House. Following the line of this street, the railway will reach the river at Blackfriars, and will then be carried along the embankment to within a short distance of Westminster-bridge. At this point the line will leave the river side, and, curving to the west, will proceed past Westminster Abbey, under Tothill-street and along the northern side of Victoria-street, to the Victoria Station.

    Beyond this station the railway will bend round to the south, and, after passing for a short distance between Ebury-street and Belgrave-place, it will again turn to the west, to Sloane-square. From Sloane-square the line will follow an almost straight course to Cromwell-road, where it will join the western extension of the Metropolitan Railway. From Cromwell-road the western extension of the Metropolitan line will curve to the north, and will proceed in a north-westerly direction to Kensington-terrace, Notting-hill, when it will curve to the east, and eventually join the existing line at Edgeware-road.

    The Metropolitan District Railway includes, beside the line of which we have described the course, two branch lines connecting the "inner circle" with the West London Railway.

    One of these branches will commence at Cromwell-road station, and, after proceeding side by side with the "inner circle" line to a short distance beyond the Gloucester-road, will turn to the south-west through Earl’s-court to a junction with the West London line near Richmond-road.

    The other branch will leave the western side of the West London Railway, further north, and will then curve to the east., pass under the West London line, and run through Earl’s-court by the side of the branch first mentioned to a short distance past Redfield-lane, where it will bend to the north, and will be carried side by side with the inner circle line to Kensington station.

    The station accommodation which will be provided on the new Lines will be as follows: On the eastern extension of the Metropolitan line there will be a station at Bishopsgate-street, and another near Aldgate, whilst at Trinity-square there will be a joint station for the extension and the District railways, this station forming an exchange station with the London with the London and Blackwall Railway.

    On the Metropolitan District Railway proper there will be stations at Mark-lane, King William-street, and at Queen-street (Cannon-street); and at Blackfriars there will be an exchange station with the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway.

    There will also be a station at Norfolk-street; and at Charing-cross there will be an exchange station with the South-Eastern line.

    The next station will lie at Westminster-bridge, and then will come the St. James’s-park and Victoria stations, the former of which will be situated close to Queen’s-square-place, and the latter adjoining the present station of the same name, so that it will form an exchange station with the London, Chatham, and Dover, and London, Brighton, and South Coast Railways.

    The next stations in order will be those at Sloane-square and Cromwell-road, whilst there will also be stations, used jointly by the Metropolitan District and Metropolitan Railway proper, at Gloucester-road and Kensington; and another at Richmond-road, for the joint use of the Metropolitan District and West London Railways.

    The Cromwell-road and Kensington stations will be exchange stations for the traffic to the West London Railway and its connexions. On the western extension of the Metropolitan line there will be, in addition to the two joint, stations already mentioned, other stations at Notting-hill, Bayswater, and Paddington. This last station will be situated opposite the Paddington Hotel, and will be connected with the Great. Western station by underground passages; it will be quite distinct from the existing Bishop’s-road station.

    The total length of the Metropolitan District Railway from Tower-hill to the Richmond-road is about six miles, and of this length one-half will be level. Of the remaining portion, about a quarter of a mile will be on a gradient of 1 in 300, more than half a mile will be 1 in 250, three-quarters of a mile 1 in 200, and about half a mile 1 in 100, whilst the rest will be made up of gradients rather less steep than 1 in 100. The greatest difference between the levels of the rails at any two points is 37¾ ft, and the three lowest points are under the Ranelagh, Fulham-road, and King’s Scholars Pond sewers respectively, the rail level at the latter point, which is the lowest of all, being 9 ft. 3 in. below Ordnance datum, or 21 ft. 9 in. below Trinity high water. The sharpest curve is one of 10 chains radius near the Victoria Station; the remaining curves have radii of 15, 20, and 30 chains and upwards.

    Having given a general account ot the course and extent of the Metropolitan District Railway, we shall now proceed to describe more in detail the principal works connected with it, so far as they are at present executed or in progress...


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