Posted By Robert. Stephenson

Originally called the Commercial Railway, the London and Blackwall Railway was a railway line line in east London  It ran from the Minories to Blackwall via Stepney, with a branch line to the Isle of Dogs thus connecting central London to many of london's in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was operational from 1840 until 1926 (for passengers) and 1968 (for goods services) - ultimately closing after the decline of inner London's docks. Much of its former infrastructure was later reused as part of the Docklands light Railway.



Original bridge at Limehouse on the London and Blackwall Railway. It now carries a branch of the DLR. The iron fencing was a feature of the line and was popular with passengers as it gave a quieter ride than the brick walling of the nearby  London and Greenwich Railway


It was authorised by an Act of Parliament entitled "An Act for making a Railway from the Minories to Blackwall, with Branches, to be called "The Commercial Railway" dated 28 July 1836 in the reign of William IV.

The engineer of the line was intended to be John Rennie, but the project’s City financiers favoured Robert stephenson, believing that they would also benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of his respected father. Although, because of the Act, Robert Stephenson had to follow Rennie’s route, and use the obscure track gauge of 5 ft ½ in (1,537 mm), he was free to choose his own method of propulsion. Drawing on his experience with the Camden line on the london and birmingham Railway he decided upon cable haulage from stationary steam engines.

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