First Underground Railway in the World
The Metropolitan line was the first underground railway in the world, opening on 10th January 1863. Work on the railway had begun in February 1860 using the "cut-and-cover" method of construction. This caused massive traffic disruption in north London; during the work the Fleet Sewer burst into the diggings, flooding the partly-built tunnel. The first section was opened from near Paddington via Kings Cross to Farringdon Street (now Farringdon station) in January 1863.
This picture from The Illustrated London News of 27th January 1866 shows 'The Junction of the London, Chatham And Dover Railway with the Metropolitan Railway, near Smithfield'.
The line towards Snow Hill and Blackfriars is depicted in an open cutting with timber baulks supporting a structure to protect the railway from falling masonry during the construction of Smithfield Market.
The second picture shows the works being carried out in 1864 for the Extension of the Metropolitan Railway. These are taking place right outside the entrance to 6&7 West Smithfield, and must have very disruptive for the Wood's.
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