Charles Pearson

Charles Pearson was one of the 1st underground visionaries. He promoted an underground railway, the notion of “trains in drains” in 1845. In 1846, Pearson proposed a central railway station for the City, accessed by a tunnel for workers to commute but his proposition was rejected later that year by the Royal Commission of Metropolitan Railway Termini. Pearson didn’t give up, he proposed for a railway connecting the London Termini, presenting it as evidence of the high congested city caused by cabs, carts and cars but mainly caused by the natural increase in population. These propositions were rejected but the Commission recommend that a railway be constructed linking the termini with the docks and the General Post Office at St. Martin’s Le Grand in 1853. He used his influence as the City Solicitor to raise the 1 million euros needed to run the line and promote the project, creating a pamphlet in favour of the Metropolitan Railway and City Station. By 1860 the project was finalized, the funds were all collected, and the project was started, taking less than 3 years to excavate through the slums of Victorian London. Pearson died of dropsy (abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body) in 1862 and did not live to see the opening of the Metropolitan line.

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