A chance encounter leads young Jim Stringer, a railway porter, to move from Yorkshire to Waterloo, and a better job. But the London of 1903 is a world of garish pubs and tawdry brothels, boxed in by towering blank-faced factories. Jim finds that his duties are mysteriously confined to the strangest corner of the South Western's business: a railway line that runs to an enormous cemetery. Still more perplexingly, the men he works alongside have formed an instant loathing for him, and his predecessor has disappeared under suspicious circumstances! Can Jim work out what is going on before he too is traveling on a one-way coffin ticket aboard the Necropolis Railway?