The Subterranean Railway: How The London Underground Was Built And How It Changed The City Forever
by Christian Wolmar
Though viewed by many as overcrowded, outdated and desperately underfunded, the London Underground network should not be so readily dismissed argues Wolmar in this excellent overview of what is an extraordinary feat of engineering.
In Wolmar’s book, we are treated to a different underground. A transport system that is the result of pioneers who were unafraid of ridicule. Who not only built a transport system unparalleled anywhere in the world, but also helped create and transform London both demographically and geographically into the city we know today.
From the world’s first underground line from Paddington to Farringdon, which opened in 1853, Wolmar brings the reader through both World Wars to the present day focusing on the new driverless trains and the future of the system.
Above all, Wolmar reinforces just how brave the concept was of building a railway beneath a built up area (it was 40 years before another country attempted it) and what an audacious feat of engineering it was.