Victorian London - Transport - Railways, above ground - Lines - Kensington Railway


    THIS railway was opened on Whit Monday, according to a printed bill, and shut up again on Tuesday, in compliance with a notice in pen and ink pasted over the printed bill alluded to.
    The opening on Monday was celebrated by a breakfast at the lodgings of the superintendent; the superintendent himself occupying the chair, supported by his wife and family. It had been originally intended that the Directors should have had a dejeuner at a neighbouring hotel; but this scheme, on examining the company's cash-box, was abandoned. At the hour appointed for the starting of the first train a consultation was held as to where it should go to, when it was announced to the public - verbally from behind the Counter of the station, that the trip would comprise the entire distance to Wormwood Scrubs - passing Shepherd's Bush and back again. Four boys immediately took advantage of the new railway, and returned in about ten minutes highly gratified. A neighbouring newsman was at the platform with the whole of the daily papers to meet the train on its arrival. Having muttered "Times," "Herald, Post," "Chronicle," which would have been exactly a paper a-piece for each (boy) passenger, he retreated from the station. The police arrangements were admirable, there being one policeman to open the carriage door, five to keep the stairs clear, and three to take the tickets at the gate for the egress of passengers.
    The select band of juvenile vagrants were in attendance during the day, and played off some of their most popular airs upon the railroad authorities. The Directors have in the most spirited manner hired a guard, who wears a belt with a box for despatches attached to it. There being no despatches, a bye-law has, we understand, been passed, allowing the guard to fill the box with sandwiches - either for his own use, or to sell to the passengers. The engine has been behaving splendidly all the week, running backwards and forwards for the amusement of the boys with the most good-humoured condescension.
    If this railroad has no other effect it will at least effect a communication between Shepherd's Bush and Wormwood Scrubs, so that if it dues nothing else, it will cement that union between the Bush and the Scrubs which the Scrubs no less than the Bush must be, or ought to be, anxious for.

Punch, Jan.-Jun. 1844