We’re excited to share with you this plan of Dundee’s underground from 1908.
Dr Kenneth Baxter from the University Archives explains how this ambitious plan was finally realised in 1908 with funding from the Baxter family, who also donated the money to found University College Dundee. Designed by the then city architect Joseph King, the underground route was technologically ahead of its time and one of several pioneering town planning achievements for which Dundee is noted, another being the first housing scheme in Scotland (Logie which celebrated it 100th birthday last year).
Known by locals during the years of its construction as Faril’s loop, the route only remained open for one morning and then closed by which time King was nowhere to be found. As this newspaper cutting shows the episode generated understandable controversy at the time.
The construction was found to be fundamentally unsafe but unfortunately the only records that survive in the University archives for that time, two of Joseph King’s original sketch books, are irretrievably water damaged so it is impossible to tell whether the fault lay with him.