Click on image to select
MET - Metropolitan Railway Widened Lines (1868)
THE WIDENING OF THE METROPOLITAN RAILWAY (1868)
The widening of the Metropolitan Railway between King’s-cross and Farringdon-street stations, with the deviations of the branches to the Great Northern Railway, has been practically completed, and on the 15th of January was formally inspected by Captain Tyler on behalf of the Board of Trade.
A constantly increasing traffic has rendered this extension necessary, and the new lines are intended for the service of the Great Western, Great Northern, and the Midland trains (the former line being turned into the widening by n cross- over road, the points of which arc at the east end of the King’s-cross station platform), so that the Metropolitan Railway proper will be relieved of the extra traffic which has hitherto imposed upon a limited rail accommodation.
The widening commences in King’s-cross station, and for some distance it runs parallel with the old line towards Farringdon-street; then dipping, it crosses beneath the Metropolitan, and rising on the other side, again runs parallel with it, the rails being laid with such a gradient as to overtake those of the Metropolitan at a point a little westward of the new station at Farringdon-street. Under the same contract is included the erection of the substructure, and the extensive system of sidings, platforms, and hoists for the new Smithfield Dead-meat Market.
The works on the widening have presented unusual difficulties, in consequence of the necessary deviation of two existing branches, through one of which the traffic has been unceasingly maintained, the extent of driven tunnel work, and the tedious process of underpinning a portion of the Metropolitan Railway retaining walls and the foundations of Vine-street and Ray-street bridges ; indeed, but for the excellent quality of the old brickwork, a different and more costly plan of construction, involving a stoppage in the traffic, would have been necessary, especially m those places where the sides of the tunnel were cut away at the bell-mouthed junctions.
In all these cases the new work was carried out in short lengths, with the greatest care, and with the best materials, cement-set brickwork being used through- out. The plan on the next page shows the general arrangement of the new works at King’s-cross, the lines representing the Metropolitan Railway and the Great Northern branches as they were originally constructed, and the centre lines of the deviations and new works. From A to B, a length of 1 furlong 6 chains, is that branch of the widening to the St. Pancras station of the Midland Railway; the length, C D, is the diversion of the Great Northern and Metropolitan Junction Railway (single line), known as the Hotel curve; from E to F is the diversion of the eastern curve, or up line, from the Great Northern to King’s-cross (also a single line).