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See: Great Circle Line
edit Planning and Construction
The line was constructed as a result of several railway schemes failing to receive Parliamentary approval until the Marvellous Northern, Barnet & Strand (MNB&S) railway agreed to share its route with the Stamfordshire and Morden (S&M) as far as High Barnet, while the Waterloo to St Helena Railway (the "Napoleon Line") wanted a connection north of the Thames without going to Parliament for permission to build a new Thames crossing.
The compromise was that the S&M line would build half of a new circle line, through west London and connecting to the new North Pole Depot. It thereby avoided a new Thames crossing, except where it crossed the Thames. Unfortunately when the legislation was drafted, a copyist omitted these important details and the S&M and the WStHR were only authorised to connect stations north and south of the Thames via the North Pole.
This started a heroic era of Arctic and Antarctic exploration, and one of the most challenging civil engineering projects short of another Thames crossing began. The South Atlantic Tunnel from St. Helena to