September 27, 1938 The steam-powered ocean liner RMS Queen Elizabeth, constructed by the shipbuilding firm John Brown & Company for Cunard-White Star Line (renamed Cunard Line in 1949), was launched at a shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland. This ocean liner was named for the wife of England’s King George VI and queen consort of the United Kingdom... Continue Reading →

May 24, 1862 The second and current version of Westminster Bridge in London was opened. This structure, spanning the River Thames, replaced the original bridge that had made its debut in the mid-18th century and was closed in 1846 (and subsequently demolished) due to deterioration. The opening of the new road-and-foot-traffic bridge took place on the... Continue Reading →

May 6, 1994 The Channel Tunnel, running beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover and linking the port town of Folkestone in southeastern England with the commune of Coquelles in northern France, was officially opened. (“England and France, Now a Train Trip,” proclaimed a headline in the New York Times.) The 31.35-mile (50.45-kilometer)-long tunnel,... Continue Reading →

January 30, 1826 The Menai Suspension Bridge connecting the island of Anglesey with the mainland of Wales was opened to a great deal of fanfare. This structure, which crosses over the Menai Straits, is widely considered to be the world’s first modern suspension bridge. Prior to the bridge’s opening, the only options for traveling between... Continue Reading →

November 2, 1959 In southern England, the first segment of the freeway designated the M1 motorway made its formal debut. This segment spanned 72 miles (115.9 kilometers), linking the borough of Watford in the outskirts of London with both the market town of Rugby and village of Cricket near Birmingham. The M1 now encompasses 193.5 miles... Continue Reading →

June 21, 1886 In England, construction of the Tower Bridge in London began when a foundation stone was put in place during an extravagant Monday afternoon ceremony attended by royalty. The need for a bridge spanning across the River Thames at that location had become urgent as commercial development in London’s East End grew dramatically... Continue Reading →

In Great Britain, a longtime transportation era came to an end when the mail trains known as Travelling Post Offices made their final runs. “Mail trains have reached the end of the line,” proclaimed BBC News. “After more than 160 years of service, the Travelling Post Office – where post is sorted en route on... Continue Reading →

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