The railways in and around London’s docks were arteries to the national railway system at a time when all heavy goods were moved by rail. As well as freight, the Port of London moved vast numbers of people by train around its domain – not just ships’ passengers but also dock workers, who were transported from their city dwellings to a host of dockside locations. This book describes the dawn of the major rail-served docks, and traces the evolution of the capital’s quayside railways and their locomotives from the days of the early dock companies through to what became the Port of London Authority’s huge undertaking.
Over two volumes, we see the growth of the dock company railways from simple sidings to a vast network under the Port of London Authority, together with full histories of over 100 locos that worked the various quays and sheds. London’s Dock Railways Part 1 looked at the systems operating in and around the Isle of Dogs at the Millwall and India Docks, and included various other railway wharves in the area. Part 2 chronicles the Royal Docks and their associated tracks, primarily the Victoria, Albert and King George V Docks, and also includes other associated and industrial railways in the vicinity.
The absorbing story of these industrial lines and locomotives is traced from their humble origins to what became one of the largest private railways in the country, but which are now nothing more than a memory that serves to remind us of one of the foremost periods in Britain’s industrial history.