It was originally planned to be cable-hauled, but the company contracted to supply cable-haulage technology went bankrupt.The railway company's Parliamentary Act specifically prohibited the use of steam power.The first urban underground railway was the Metropolitan Railway, which began operations on January 10, 1863.
Between 18, there were numerous proposals to build pneumatic or cable-hauled railways in London to overcome this problem though none were successful.
Smoke was less of a problem in steam-hauled elevated railways, the first of which opened in New York City in 1870.
The system was converted to a modern underground railway in 1978. Its full name was the Chemin de Fer Métropolitain, a direct translation into French of London's Metropolitan Railway.
The name was shortened to métro, and many other languages have since borrowed this word.
The Athens-Piraeus Electric Railway was built as a steam-hauled suburban line in 1869 and acquired an underground section in the capital in 1874.
It was electrified in 1904 and became part of the Athens Metro in 2011.
The Budapest system was also the first electric underground railway with overhead cables rather than the more common third rail system.
Car #18 is preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum.
The opening of London's City & South London Railway in 1890 used electric traction to overcome the issue of tunnel air quality.
By World War I, electric underground railways were being used in Athens, Berlin, Boston, Buenos Aires, Budapest, Glasgow, Hamburg, Liverpool, New York City, Paris, and Philadelphia.
In the 21st century, China became the world's leader by number of rapid transit systems as well as the fastest growth of such systems, Before any plans were made for transit systems with underground tunnels and stations, several railway operators had used tunnels for freight and passenger trains, usually to reduce the grade of the railway line.