It is probably only the more morbid among us that put much thought into where all the dead Londoners go.

But for city planners in the capital it’s a real nightmare.

Existing cemeteries aren’t getting any bigger and the city is growing all the time.

The Victorians dealt with this in a very Victorian way – by building a railway.

A railway specifically to take bodies to their final resting place at new massive cemetery, 23 miles out of town in Surrey, where space was less of an issue.

The London Necropolis Railway was opened in 1854 and ran from Waterloo to the newly built Brookwood Cemetery near Woking.

A sign at Brookwood Cemetery commemorating the Necropolis Railway 

The cemetery is still the largest cemetery in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.

Just imagine it! The thought of trains full of dead people rolling through the city is enough to send chills up anyone’s spine.

No wonder Victorian horror fiction was so successful with such morbid inspiration.

A special station was built called the London Necropolis railway station right next to Waterloo station.

The cool, dark arches beneath existing lines was used to store the bodies and there were areas set out for mourners.

The passengers and bodies were loaded (divided by class of course, they were Victorians after all), the train would run along the South Western Main Line before switching onto a dedicated branch just to the west of Brockwood station.

Once arriving at one of two stations at the cemetery depending on religious persuasion the mourners and the bodies were transported to their burial spot via horse drawn carriage.

The second Necropolis railway station on Waterloo Bridge Road which is now offices 

At the very end of the 19th Century, a long needed expansion of Waterloo Station meant the London Necropolis railway station had to relocate.

The new building, on Westminster Bridge Road, was used between 1902 and 1941.

Then it unfortunately went the way of a lot of London did and was destroyed by a bomb during the Blitz.

The station was rebuilt but the line was never reopened.

It wasn’t just the Blitz that finished off the railway but also the rise of the car. Faced with the cost of rebuilding the damaged line, destroyed station and replacing rolling stock, directors declared the line “obsolete”.

The station was rebuilt but for use as an office. It stands as the only surviving part of the railway in London.