Each map has a booklet describing the development of Londonâ€™s railways before 1897 as well as current and future plans.Of all the great innovations of the nineteenth century it was the railways that contributed the most.
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In London new railway lines ran to the docks where ships were discharging previously unseen raw materials from an Empire that straddled the globe. By rail these goods could now be dispersed all over the country to factories and towns with rapidly increasing populations. London, the hub of the Empire, had become the world's greatest commercial centre and, for the first time, people were able to live in the healthier suburbs and travel into the city to work. The Victorians were passionate railway builders both underground and overground and all the outlying towns, long since devoured by the metropolis, were connected to the great termini by remarkable engineering feats that involved tunnels, cuttings, embankments, bridges and viaducts all of which were constructed by thousands of manual labourers.