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1846 The London and Birmingham Railway, in conjunction with the dock companies, asked Henry Daniel Martin to lay out a line connecting that railway with the London docks, essentially as a means of promoting the conveyance of merchandise, without any expectation of it becoming available for the service of passenger traffic.
However, long before the line had been completed, the suburban districts through which it passed had increased in population so much as to necessitate providing for a passenger service
This line became the basis for extensions to various parts of the metropolis and its surroundings, including a continuation to the heart of the city of London, the line passing through one of the most crowded neighbourhoods in the metropolis.
At the Port of London terminus the principal undertakings consisted of the laying down lines of rails at the quays of the docks for the use of vehicles employed in receiving or discharging cargoes from or into vessels lying alongside, and the further delivery from or into the warehouses, the operations being facilitated by use of extensive hydraulic machinery. Further docks and extensive warehouses were built for special goods and mineral traffic, in addition to extensions of the lines, the erection of the terminal station at Blackwall, and the construction of similar works at other places both for passenger and merchandise
1850 Line opened