Deep tubes would minimise congestion at street-level, but three solutions were needed before they would work. Firstly, the invention of a cast-iron shield enabled deep tunnelling underground. Secondly, lifts and then escalators were able to carry passengers to the trains efficiently. Thirdly, electricity was used as a clean alternative to steam underground.
In 1890 the world's first electric railway, the City and South London Railway, opened between Stockwell and King William Street in the City. Passengers travelled in primitive 'padded cell' coaches. Two men, Charles Tyson Yerkes and Albert Stanley were instrumental to the early development of the UERL which formed the basis of London Underground.
There are 128 objects in the Digging deeper gallery. Select a section below to refine the objects or choose an object below to browse through the museum