With Crossrail finally under full construction and other lines transformed, London could see a new golden age of railways, says Andrew Neather.
|Link to Evening Standard|
"At long last, Crossrail, the Heathrow-to-Stratford rail link, is under full-scale construction. Phyllis, named after Phyllis Pearsall, 1930s creator of the London A-Z, is essentially a 150 metre-long underground factory on rails — with a seven-metre drill bit on the front. She will roar into life at Royal Oak, Paddington in a few weeks’ time. Edging forward by about 100m a week through the clay, she will emerge at Farringdon in autumn next year.
"... Does it add up the PM’s vision of a new Victorian age? I’m not sure. The engineers who built the deep Tube network in the 1890s and 1900s would have been bemused by the delays in starting Crossrail — as would the builders of the capital’s great railway termini.
"And while this century’s new stations are gleaming, their Victorian counterparts formed a network with style. At Blackfriars, there’s a list of all the places a Victorian traveller could get to, starting there: back then, it included St. Petersburg."