London is the starting point for a number of motorway routes. The M25 is an orbital motorway which enables vehicles to avoid travelling through central London and is one of the busiest motorways in Europe.
Tower Subway is a tunnel that runs under the River Thames that was first used as one of the first underground railways in London. The tunnel is located between Tower Hill on the north bank and Vine Street, off Tooley Street on the South Bank. The line was operated over a short distance using a stationary car and single carriage, and a cable system. The whole system gained parliamentary approval in 1868 but at first no contractor was willing to build it due the difficulties experienced during the construction of the Thames Tunnel. This was overcome when James Henry Greathead tendered for construction and the tunnel was built by Peter W. Barlow between 1869–1870 using a cylindrical tunnelling shield they designed.
The Tower Subway was eventually superseded by Tower Bridge which was built a few hundred yards downriver in 1894. In 1898, the Subway was closed and was then used by the London Hydraulic Power Company for hydraulic tubes and water mains. It survived a World War II bomb blast which resulted in at point of impact the radius reduced to 1.2m and was found to still be in excellent condition. Nowadays the tunnel is used for mains and telecommunication cables.
Charles Tyson Yerkes (25 June 1837 – 29 December 1905) was an American financier. He played a major part in developing mass-transit systems in Chicago and London. Yerkes was born in the Northern Liberties, a district of Philadelphia, the son of a banker. At 17 he became a clerk in a grain brokerage and at 22 set up his own firm and joined the Philadelphia stock exchange. By 1865 he had moved into banking and specialized in selling municipal, state, and government bonds. A large speculative trade with Philadelphia public money ended disastrously, and he was left insolvent and narrowly avoided being jailed. Having moved to Chicago in 1881, Yerkes became involved in public transportation when his consortium began taking over street railway companies. His aim was to achieve a monopoly of public transport in the city and he used bribery and blackmail in order to further his ambition. Following an unsuccessful attempt to bribe the city council and state legislature into granting him a 100-year franchise for the tramway system, Yerkes sold his transport stocks in 1899 and moved to New York.