"London's Lost Tube Schemesby Antony Badsey-Ellis is one of the newest books available about the history of the London Underground. Instead of writing about the lines that were built, this book is about the many lines that were planned, but never built, between the opening of the Metropolitan Railway in 1863 and the outbreak of World War I.
Some of the lines that were planned would have been very useful these days. Interestingly, many of the proposed lines would have served Hackney, which is today still very poorly served by the tube. If some of these lines had been built, then the tube map may have been very different, and the newer tubes such as the Victoria and Jubilee Lines may never had been required. Yet some of the other proposals seemed rather crazy. One being the Kearney High-Speed Tube, which seemes like a hybrid tube-monorail-rollercoaster. Other crazy ideas included a giant passenger carrying version of those pneumatic tubes that are sometimes found in banks and offices.
This book also answers many questions that many Tube fanatics may be interested in, such as why does there appear to be underground junction tunnels at South Kensington on the Piccadilly Line, and why does Holborn, again on the Piccadilly Line have such an odd layout?
The book is very thorough on its subject matter, and has plenty of interesting diagrams and maps. Although this book sometimes is verging on having too much information, I would recommend it to anyone who has a keen interest either in the history of the Tube, or an interest in what could have been."
Cheers for that SK. When I was in the travel bookshop Stanfords over Christmas I heard a number of people ask for the book and it certainly sounds like a good read.