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Report - Victoria/Waterloo Tunnel and Byrom St cutting, Liverpool - Feb 2015

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by CureForPain, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. CureForPain

    CureForPain Definitely not a Cylon
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    We decided to do the Wapping and Waterloo tunnels in one day, which everyone knows is the Scouse Urbex version of the Three Peaks Challenge.

    The day got off to a great start when we went to a car boot sale and somebody gave me a Sigma lens case and a huge Justin Beiber canvas for free:

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    SCORE. I wanted to hang it up on the tunnel wall and take some surreal pictures, but it was too bulky to get down the slope. Maybe I'll apply for an Arts Council grant.


    Been in the Wapping a few times (but I'm saving my report until we've got hold of an inflatable boat). The dear old Waterloo isn't as historically interesting as the Wapping, but it's a mighty impressive bit of engineering. The cutting at Byrom Street is remarkable - it's basically in the city centre but it's remarkably calm and quiet. There's also a bunch of CDs hanging 40ft up on tree branches, which is just odd.

    [HR][/HR]
    The Waterloo and Victoria tunnels were built in 1849 to link the freight facilities at Edge Hill with the Waterloo Goods station in the northern docks. From the docks, trains were loco-hauled through the half-mile Waterloo Tunnel to a cutting near Byrom Street, where they were attached to a huge iron cable (early steam locomotives couldn't cope with the steep-ass gradient) and pulled another 1.5 miles uphill through the Victoria Tunnel.
    Although most people think of it as one long tunnel with a gap in the middle, the two tunnels have slightly different profiles. The Vic has straight sides and is often cut through raw stone, The Waterloo is circular and brick-lined throughout.

    Eventually the massive 3.5 mile-long rope kicked the bucket, so trains switched to locomotive haulage. Passengers also travelled through the tunnel to reach Riverside Station at the Pier Head.
    The tunnel was last used in 1972 and has remained silent ever since, aside from maintenance inspections and idiots with torches and cameras (like me).

    [HR][/HR]



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    A car park. Lovely...


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    ...a wild Waterloo Tunnel appears!


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    The first 150 metres or so are infilled to about half the height of the tunnel. it's a less than impressive start.


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    The infilling comes to an end pretty abruptly. Perfect time to set up the bouncy castle. What do you mean, you forgot the bouncy castle?


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    Strong smell of petrol and some very oily standing water in a few places. Eats away at your soles, and possibly your soul.


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    The old telegraph and electric wires have long gone, but the brackets remain.


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    What is it with creepy dismembered dolls in tunnels? This one is missing an arm and both legs.


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    A few stalactites here and there, presumably from water ingress.


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    OHGODOHGODOHGOD

    Now where are the legs?


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    Somebody pinched the numbers off this nice old gradient marker.


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    Yes, it was like this when we found it. Hell of a creepy thing to see in the distance, dimly lit by a single torch beam.


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    Eight football pitches later, and the Byrom Street cutting in coming into focus.


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    At the end of the tunnel we find the World's Most Pointless Palisade Fence™ and a towering heap of fly-tipped crap.
    My strange Lithuanian friend found a wooden magazine holder and a plastic chain, and carried them back to take home. I wish I was joking.


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    Some fly-tipping is more photogenic than others.


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    The following pictures are pretty horrible - for some reason my trusty Pentax had serious difficulties with the lighting in the cutting.
    No matter how I exposed the shot or what lens I used, I got these horrible washed-out colours and contrast that made everything look like a nasty HDR filter. Anyone else have similar trouble in cuttings?



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    Old platelayers'/workmens' hut. The cutting was gas-lit so the work could continue all through the night.


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    The big John Moores campus looms in the distance.


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    If anyone recognises this man....he's forgotten his 28DL username and would very much like to log back in.


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    My camera really doesn't like all this foliage and weird lighting! Looking back through the Waterloo tunnel towards the docks.


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    If in doubt... shallow depth-of-field. I AM AN ARTIST


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    Looking towards Byrom St and the Victoria Tunnel.


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    Vic tunnel again, from a conveniently-placed ladder. Thanks guys!


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    Waterloo tunnel portal, showing the impressive depth of the cutting.


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    The cutting is littered with brick-lined arches of various shape and size.
    The main winding engines for the cable haulage were at Edge Hill, but perhaps these were used for additional cable-related things.


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    Switch technology has clearly come a long way since 1849. Imagine one of these on your kettle!


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    And now we're in the mouth of the Victoria Tunnel, on the edge of the 1.5-mile abyss. Notice the change in the wall profile - vertical walls now.



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    Don't bother bringing a tripod, those traffic cones are ideal if you use a bit of duct tape.


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    Here's the money shot - 1.5 miles of darkness leading to Edge Hill.


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    Time for a quick selfie. My friends did a great job on the light painting, but they suck at pulling focus.


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    It was getting late and starting to rain, so we made a 'tactical withdrawal' and left the rest of the Vic for another day.
    Scrabbling up the muddy slope back to the car park in the rain makes K2 without oxygen look like a piece of piss.


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    There are several refuges in the side walls.
    A tunnel inside a tunnel. WE NEED TO GO DEEPER


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    It's a long way to the shop if you want a sausage roll....


    I've got a ton of old 'splores to write up, then I'll be going back to take more photos and probably break my ankle on some rusty tracks or something. UNTIL NEXT TIME!
     
    #1 CureForPain, Feb 25, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015

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  2. slayaaaa

    slayaaaa 28DL Regular User
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    First post and you nailed it. Nice one and nice pics! :thumb

    Looking forward to some more threads! :D
     
  3. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    I enjoyed those mate :thumb

    i have to admit i failed at these the other week due to shortage of time & fatique, after spending 6 hours in the Tranmere Shelters....next time :)
     
  4. CureForPain

    CureForPain Definitely not a Cylon
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    SIX HOURS? You're a hero. I was a bit worried about the air quality in there, to be honest! I'll pop my pics up soon.
    I wonder if anyone has had a go at that big green panel yet. I think the butchers would be willing to he,p..I think all the people visiting the hole gave them a ton of free advertising ;)
     
  5. paulpowers

    paulpowers Massive Member
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    Good pics,

    perfect first report
     
  6. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    Pretty good this mate! :thumb
     
  7. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Interesting stuff :thumb hope you put the Beiber canvas where it belongs, in the bin.
     
  8. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Looks a good wander that mate :thumb
     
  9. The Kwan

    The Kwan funksoul Brother
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    Looks like a good mooch and decent photies to boot :thumb
    I am ashamed to say that I actually joined the official Justin Beiber fan club and got the badge and bracelet and everything....the things you do to get your kids pre sale tickets, Doh.
     
  10. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    TBH i was initially concerned about the lack of air/airflow in there and the consequences of collapsing & without a phone signal ( but then i"m used to that with EE:) but got carried away (lost) & forgot about it until i went up one of the shafts via the ladders to photo one of the old fan units that"s capped over and within a few seconds my pulse was racing and i felt faint (lightbulb) GTFO & was ok once back in the tunnels.
    As there"s no light coming in & concrete capped i presume it"s a pretty good seal & with no airflow & multiple visits depleting what oxygen there was in there to start with was probably a risk i didn"t think about :rolleyes:

    Best thing was i had to go back in after a cuppa as i"d left one of my torches inside :wanker:)
     
  11. CureForPain

    CureForPain Definitely not a Cylon
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    Hell no! That thing is going up int he recording studio alongisde all the Beatles/Zep/Floyd posters. Comedy gold.
    I kind of fancy taking it with us on explores like a mascot, get some crazy photos of JB hanging up in all sorts of odd places. I'll be viral on Twitter, just you wait :D


    Exactly what I feared! I would have NOPE'd the living fuck out of there after that. If there's one thing that scares me it's bad air.
     
  12. canute

    canute 货车司机和国王
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    Nice report mate - brings back memories :thumb
     
  13. woody1112

    woody1112 28DL Full Member
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    Nice report and pics there fella :thumb
     
  14. urblex

    urblex 28DL Maverick
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    Lol take it down a sewer that's where it belongs, or at least deface it :D
     
  15. Snake Oil

    Snake Oil go in drains
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    liking this, the dumped telly pic works well for a bit of dumped shit :D
     
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