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Report - wapping Tunnel, Liverpool (Edge Hill) - Sept 09

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Millhouse, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Millhouse

    Millhouse 28DL Regular User
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    Visited with williamski and two of our frineds.

    A bit of history to the tunnels:
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    The Manchester and Liverpool Railway was built in 1926 and finished in 1830, designed as a major link carrying passengers and goods. The line was designed by George Stephenson, and the famous ‘Rocket’ steam engine once travelled the line between the two cities.

    The line from Liverpool was terminated at the Edge Hill Cutting, where originally two separate tunnels would split off. Goods were taken to the Wapping Docks, via the 2030 metre long Wapping Tunnel, while passengers would be carried to the Crown Street terminal via the shorter Stephenson’s Tunnel. At the cutting locomotives would drop the carriages, and they would then be hauled up either tunnel by cables, and the carriages returned t the cutting by gravity. In 1836 the Wapping Tunnel switched to locomotive haulage. (A third tunnel to Crown Street was later built in the 1840s to carry goods to Crown Street Goods terminal).

    The cables were powered by two huge steam engines to the east of the cutting. Boilers were housed in recessions cut into the sandstone walls to the North and South of the cutting, with flues also cut into the sandstone which would direct the smoke to two chimneys situated above the tunnels. Also cut into the rock were stables for horses which shunted carriages around the cutting, as well as later built staff accommodation.

    Due to the success of the railway the Crown Street terminal soon became too small to cope with the increasing number of passengers. Therefore in 1836 a new line was introduced which ran from Edge hill to Lime Street. The line began just North East of the Edge Hill Cutting and was also cable hauled, which meant that steam had to be supplied from the boiler houses of the cutting to the station’s own steam engine via steam tunnels. The Lime street line was switched over to loco haulage in 1870.
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    After a very high profile entry, we wandered down to the tunnel openings. Inside Wapping tunnel is amazing, with flowing streams carrying what seemed to be copper and a variety of other minerals. Calcite coats the walls forming stalactites from the roof, and a lone dead bush lies halfway down the tunnel, illuminated byt the light of the ventilation shaft above.

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    Looking up the first ventilation shaft
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    The West end is flooded
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    Stephenson's Tunnel was the most impressive:
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    Entrance to the flue tunnel
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    Down the steam tunnel
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    The steam tunnel is pitch black, it's awesome when you turn off the torches
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    Oh and not to forget this one :D
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    Thanks a lot for reading, and thanks to the 3 guys I went with for a great explore.

    More pics here
     

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