London and Birmingham Railway
The construction of the Euston Arch was announced by the directors of the Company in February 1837. It represented the early railway age as the first entrance to the first railway station in the world in a capital city.
"The Entrance to the London Passenger Station opening immediately upon what will necessarily become the Grand Avenue for travelling between the Metropolis and the midland and northern parts of the Kingdom, the Directors thought that it should receive some architectural embellishment. They adopted accordingly a design of Mr. Hardwick's for a grand but simple portico, which they considered well adapted to the national character of the undertaking."
The London and Birmingham Railway is unquestionably the greatest public work ever executed, either in ancient or modern times. If we estimate its importance by the labour alone which has been expended on it, perhaps the Great Chinese Wall might compete with it. To put it in another context the only other previous project that compares is the building of the Pyramids in Egypt.
The country between London and Birmingham is a series of basins or low districts, separated from each other by considerable ridges of hills so the engineers led by Robert Stephenson had to cross the valleys at as high a point as possible, and the hills at as low a one.
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