Victorian London - Transport - Railways, above ground - Stations - South Western Railway Station (Waterloo)

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THE incompleteness of the South-Western Railway, by the distance of its metropolitan terminus from the heart of London, has been a subject of complaint from the first opening of the line. The inconvenience was partially remedied by omnibus, steam-boat, and regulated cab-fares; still, Vauxhall remained a suburb, approachable only by uncertain means, of consequence in this "fast" age, when railways have, indeed, taught us to "count the minutes as they roll."
    The South-Western Railway Company have just completed their line by the above extension, of no great length, it is true but very costly, for it has invoiced an outlay of 800,000! The work was examined on Wednesday by the Government Inspector, and being reported substantial, the line will shortly be opened to the public.
    This new line was laid not in 1844, by Mr. Locke, M.P., engineer-in-chief to the company; and by Mr. Tite, F.R.S., their architect. The site pointed out by these gentlemen for the Waterloo terminus was then vacant ground, to a great extent occupied as hay-stalls and cow-yards, and by dung-heaps, and similar nuisances. This area will eventually comprise eleven acres and here will be distinct termini, in addition to that to be used immediately; and the principal facade and entrances, in the York-road, will present a frontage 600 feet in length.
    The length of the extension from Nine Elms to Waterloo Bridge Road is two miles, and about 50 yards; and the whole, after leaving the Wandsworth-road, is upon a viaduct, at an average height of 20 feet above the level of the ground. The main bridges are six in number. That which crosses thee Wandsworth-road is of iron, and 60 feet in span. Next is the south Lambeth-road bridge; and then the Vauxhall-road, a bridge of 50 feet span, in iron. Lambeth butts, and the road leading to Lambeth Palace, are also spanned by bridges; the latter much on the skew, with the novelty of a pier in the middle of the roadway. The Westminster-road is next spanned by an oblique bridge of 90 feet, in iron - we believe the largest hitherto executed at such an angle.
    The terminus is, at present, approached from the Waterloo-road, by an incline of one in twenty-five. This station, except the iron roof, is temporary; but it will be completed in permanent building in the course of a few months. There are convenient staircases to give access, in addition to the roads. In our view of the station, the building seen on the right is an extensive engine-house, with a tank in the centre to supply the engines with water. The contractors for the work are Messrs. Lee and Son, the eminent builders of Chiswell-street. Of the solidity and finish of the work we can scarcely speak too highly; the groined brick arch near Harrington-street, must have been of very difficult construction. The several designs are by W. Tite. The assistant architect is Mr. C. Borden; the assistant engineer Mr. Ker.

Illustrated London News, July 1, 1848

SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY STATION is in the Waterloo-Bridge-road, about a quarter of a mile in a straight direction from Waterloo Bridge. The line through out to Southampton was opened May 11th, 1840. The branch from Bishopstoke to Gosport was opened in February, 1842, and the Guildford branch in May, 1845. The Richmond Railway (now a part of the South Western) was opened in July, 1846, and the Metropolitan extension from Vauxhall Bridge and Waterloo Bridge, July 11th, 1848. Pleasant excursions maybe made by this line to Richmond, Hampton Court, Windsor, Winchester, &c.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

METROPOLITAN PRIZE PUZZLES - No.4

BATTLE OF WATERLOO STATION. Puzzle - TO FIND THE TRAIN YOU WANT, OR ANYONE ABLE TO GIVE YOU ANY INFORMATION.

Punch, June 30, 1883

METROPOLITAN PRIZE PUZZLES No.7

TO KNOW THE RIGHT TIME AT WATERLOO STATION

Punch, August 18, 1883

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Waterloo : Off to Ascot

George R. Sims (ed.), Living London, 1902