1902 Encyclopedia > Railway, Railways (Railroad) > Railway Construction: Cannon Street Station

Railway, Railways
(Part 17)


Cannon Street Station

The Cannon Street station of the Charing Cross Railway is the terminus of the City extension of that line, giving direct access to the City of London for the South-Eastern Railway, and linking the Charing Cross station at the west end with the City. During the year 1867—the first year the extension was open for traffic—about 8 million passengers used the Cannon Street station, of which nearly one-half were local passengers booked between Cannon Street and Charing Cross. The length of ground between the river Thames and Cannon Street is 855 feet, of which the fore-court occupies 90, the booking-offices 85, and the shed or covered portion of the station reaching to the river 680. The station is 201 feet 8 inches wide outside the walls and 187 feet inside. The whole of the station is built on a substructure of brick piers and arches, excepting the booking-offices and the part which is over Upper Thames Street. The ordinary piers are 5 feet thick with footings 8 feet wide, resting on a bed of concrete 10 feet in thickness, and the whole of the under structure is made available for storage and other purposes. The rails and platforms are carried across Upper Thames Street on wrought-iron girders 2 1/2 feet deep to 37 feet of span. The floor of this bridge is of creasoted Baltic planking 8 inches thick. The walls of the station are of brick-work, 45 feet high above the level of the platform. They are built in piers 6 feet 4 1/2 inches thick and panels 2 feet 7 1/2 inches thick. The roof is of one clear span of 190 feet 4 1/2 inches circular, having a rise or versed sine of 60 feet at the centre, composed of ribs constructed of plate-iron and angle-iron, and, like ordinary girders, 21 inches deep, each foot of each rib being tied by a tie-bar of round wrought-iron 5 5/16 inches in diameter. The tie-bar rises 30 feet and the depth of the truss at the centre is 30 feet. One end or foot of the rib is fixed to the supporting wall and the other end is placed on rollers, by the aid of which the principal or truss is free to expand or to contract according to the variations of temperature. The trusses are placed at from 33 1/2 to 35 feet apart. The booking-offices, waiting-rooms, &c., are at the end of the station on the ground floor of the building, which above and below them forms the City Terminus Hotel. Parcels offices, stores, cellarage, &c., are provided in the basement, with hydraulic lifts worked by direct pressure from tanks in the towers at the south end. The used water is discharged into tanks about 9 feet above the level of the platform, whence it is again utilized for the general purposes of the station. There are nine lines of way in the station, of which eight run alongside five platforms, and one line is space for stock and for standing-room. The two outer platforms are employed for the short traffic to Greenwich and Mid-Kent and to Charing Cross, 13 1/2 feet wide by 522 and 486 feet long respectively. The general departure platform is 665 feet long and 19 wide; and the two general arrival platforms, one on each side of the cab road, are 721 feet long by 12 1/2 wide. On this system there are two lines of rail to each platform, reckoning the general arrival flatforms as one; accommodation is thus found for 4788 lineal feet of trains. These nine lines of way converge and merge in five lines of way over the bridge for a length of about 600 feet, constituting the station-yard. The first line, on the western or up-steam side, is exclusively for trains proceeding from Cannon Street to Charing Cross; the second line is for trains approaching Cannon Street, whether from London Bridge, the country, or Charing Cross; the centre line is exclusively for trains from London Bridge or the country; the fourth is the main down line; the fifth, or east line, is for engines going to or from the engine depot at the far end of the bridge, or for engines waiting for their trains. The movements of the trains are regulated from the signal-bridge, which crosses the converged lines of way at a distance of about 140 feet from the south end of the station, by means of about forty pairs of points, with twenty-four semaphore arms, eight of which are for trains outward and sixteen for trains inward. The signal-box on the bridge is 42 feet long and 9 wide, and contains sixty-seven levers, by thirty-seven of which signals on Saxby and Farmer’s system are worked, and by thirty the points are worked. Several of the point-levers work the switches at both ends of cross-over lines. The signals lock the points and each other, so that no contradictory signals can be given; nor can ingress to or egress from a platform be given until the points are set accordingly. There are in the locking frame thirty-two slides and about a thousand locks, and an idea of the duty that falls on this apparatus may be formed from the fact that 775 trains have passed under the signal-bridge in a single working day (Whit-Monday), and that, each train being reversed here, a fresh engine has to be attached to it, the superseded engine being passed into a siding. In the course of thirty-five minutes one morning thirty-five trains were signalled and passed in or out of the station. The duty of signaling is performed by two men.

The cost of the works of the Cannon Street station, with the cost for Charing Cross station for comparison, is shown in Table XXV. (below). The substructure is reckoned to the formation-level, inclusive of the public footway under Charing Cross station and the public roadway under Cannon Street station, but exclusive of the river abutment of the bridge. The superstructure includes the fore-court, booking-offices, fittings, towers, roof, gas and water mains &c., excluding the permanent way.

Cost of works of Cannon Street and Charing Cross Stations (image)

The total cost of the works of the whole Charing Cross Railway, from London Bridge station to Cannon Street and Charing Cross, with the terminal stations, was £1,160,118. The cost of the land for the whole railway, after deducting, the value of surplus land, Hungerford Bridge, pier tolls, &c., was £1,900,000, making a total for the land and works of over £3,000,000. For this sum there are 4 1/2 miles of railway for double line, the cost being at the rate of £680,000 per mile. The works include two large bridges over the river Thames, a number of expensive bridges over streets, viaducts, and two large metropolitan termini. The cost for land at Cannon Street station was at the rate of £3, 15s. 7d. per square foot, and that at Charing Cross station was £2, 18s. 5d.

Read the rest of this article:
Railway, Railways - Table of Contents

About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us

© 2005-23 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries