Evocative, newly colored images show workers from the 19th and 20th centuries struggling to build and expand London’s underground tunnels, offering a glimpse into another age.
One of the oldest festive images shows men working on the central line of the London Underground, dating from 1898.
The tube network has been open to the public since 1863 and was the world’s first underground railway.
Another photo taken shows the first section of the eastern extension of the Central Line from Liverpool Street to Stratford being officially opened by the Minister for Transport, Mr Alfred Barnes MP on 3rd December 1946.
Stunning images of Victorian and early twentieth-century workers struggling to build and expand London’s underground tunnels and stations have been colourised. Pictured here are men working at the new Gants Hill station on the seven kilometer Central Line extension in 1947.
Another capture shows the first section of the eastern extension of the Central Line from Liverpool Street to Stratford, officially opened by the Minister for Transport, Mr Alfred Barnes MP on 3 December 1946
Men working on the ultra-modern escalators at Wanstead Station on the Central Line extension in October 1947 as they begin to take shape
There is also a picture from when The Right Honorable Sir Philip Lloyd Graeme opened the Hendon extension of the London Underground on 19 November 1923.
These fascinating images were released by the TopFoto archive to show the men who built the amazing railway that one of the busiest cities in the world still relies on almost 160 years later.
They also show the entrance to the Trafalgar Square Underground and the new color brings the images to life, showing the textures and vibrancy of pedestrians’ clothing.
The color images show the system’s first tunnels being built just underground using the cut-and-cover method.
With the “cut and cover” means of construction, a trench was excavated, which was then covered with a support system.
The London Passenger Transport Board rerouted underground railways from Charing Cross to Waterloo in 11 days – the first time this section of the railway had been closed for 22 years. The picture is from 1944
The London Underground has been open to the public since 1863 and was the world’s first underground railway. Pictured here are men working on the Central Line in 1898
Signal lights are installed at the entrance to the tunnel at Bethnal Green station in 1946. The station was opened as part of the Central Line’s eastern extension on 4 December 1946, having previously been used as a shelter
The 300ft long tunnel built to house Britain’s first commuter to connect the Waterloo and City Line with the station at Bank in 1959
Craftsmen fitting the opening gate at Wanstead Station ready for the opening ceremony in 1947. The tunnels in this extension were completed earlier in the war but were originally used to make accessories for bombers and fighters in the war
Later, smaller and roughly circular tunnels, which gave rise to its nickname the Pipe, were dug through at a deeper level.
When it opened in 1863, the London Underground ran between Paddington and Farringdon, serving six intermediate stations.
Today, it serves a total of 272 stations and covers 402 kilometers.
A pilot tunnel for the London Underground leading to the construction of an escalator tunnel at Colliers Wood
There is also a capture from when The Right Honorable Sir Philip Lloyd Graeme opened the Hendon extension of the London Underground on 19 November 1923
The newly built Hampstead Tunnel, south of Camden Town, in October 1923 as a worker takes a wheelbarrow between tunnels
Construction of Clapham South on the City and South London Railway in May 1925. Images have been re-coloured, revealing hidden details in the images
Workers at Gants Hill Station in 1947, showing the elevated concourse through which trains run on both sides, which will resemble the Moscow Underground
London Transport installed loudspeakers at Bank Station in February 1959 to keep travelers fully informed of any hold-ups
The Piccadilly Line extension works from Finsbury to Cockfosters. Here the last girder is placed in place for the bridge over Telford Road
The network has now expanded to 11 lines, and from 2020 to 2021 the metro was used for 296 million passenger journeys, making it one of the world’s busiest metro systems.
The 11 lines together handle up to five million passenger journeys every day.
The new Elizabeth Line opened on May 24 this year, including nine new stations from Paddington to Abbey Wood. Its Bond Street station will open later this year.