“The London and Edinburgh Vacuum Tunnel Company is proposed to be established, with a capital of Twenty Millions Sterling, divided into 200,000 shares, of L.100 each, for the purpose of forming a Tunnel or Tube of metal between Edinburgh and London, to convey Goods and Passengers between these cities and the other towns through which it passes.”
The plan is simple. There are two long tunnels or tubes, side by side, one reserved for trips northbound to Edinburgh, the other for Londonwards traffic. Boilers, located every two miles along the approximately 390-mile length of the tunnel or tube, supply steam that, though a clever bit of engineering, creates a vacuum….
So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.