A truly all encompassing biography of the conception, birth, and evolution of Londons tube system. The book immediatley informs readers that it is not concerned with the earlier construction of the "cut and cover" lines, such as the Metropolitain and District lines, but concentrates on the deep level "tube" lines constructed by miners using Greathead Shields, and cast iron linings to burrow their way under London. The authors have mixed contemporory reports of finance, engineering, and technological difficulties in building the system, along with the great characters that drove the plan along. London readers may be greatly surprised to find that an American, Charles Yerkes, was largly instrumental in the systems conceptualisation and commercialisation. The authors take us on a trip from the Thames Tunnel, the forerunner of Tower Bridge, right up to the (almost) present day Underground network as we now know it.
Some of the minutae of finance is a little too much for an interesting read, but this is greatly overweighed but the otherwise fascinating account of how London came to have its famous tube system.