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Report - Kingsway Tram Tunnel, London - January 2016

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by The_Raw, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Been wanting to see this for ages but I'd forgotten about it until recently when @kkj posted a report. A couple of drunken attempts at sneaking past a seemingly asleep Crossrail security guard a while back hadn't gone as planned so it was put on the back burner. This time however we took a different approach (cheers adders) and spent a couple of hours poking around inside without any hassle. Such a cool bit of London history it's a must see if you get the chance to pop in. Visited with @Adders, @extreme_ironing, an extremely drunken @Monkey and a friend of ours from Germany.

    23871219733_3f283da8cc_o.jpg

    History

    The Kingsway Tram Tunnel is an abandoned tunnel, built to connect the "North Side" and "South Side" tramway systems in the Holborn area of London. The tunnel was constructed between 1902 and 1905 and it was in operation between 1906-1957. It ran from the junction of Theobalds Road and Southampton Row at its northern end, to the Embankment (in 1908) at its southern end, with underground tram stations at Holborn and Strand. Public service began on 24th February 1906. The first journey took 12 minutes northbound and 10 minutes to return, even allowing for the horse-drawn vehicles also using the roads on the overground part of the route.

    In 1929 double-decker trams were introduced after works that raised the roof and deepened the tunnel. During the mid 30's all trams in London started being replaced by "more modern vehicles", mostly trolley-buses and conventional diesel buses. All London trams were finally abandoned on 5th July 1952. Over the next 60 years, the tunnel was been mostly left abandoned. A project for a new tram line making use of the tunnel was cancelled in 2008. During the same year the tunnel was used as a film set for 'The Escapist', evidence of the film set can still be seen today. The site has since been acquired by Crossrail who have been using it as a worksite for the construction of a new tunnel directly under the old one up until recently.

    1. Part of the tunnel still being used for storing materials
    23809469783_84612df8cb_b.jpg

    2. Apparently these tags are significant, Cos and Fume from the DDS crew. Means zilch to me but there you go!
    24436317135_9633438ab6_b.jpg

    3. Still some live switches and cables down here
    24328130692_b92d7de244_b.jpg

    4. Here the ceiling of the tunnel slopes down as the Strand underpass now replaces the old Aldwych station end of the tunnel.
    24436393685_05fe7ecfbc_b.jpg

    5. Gets a bit stoopy down this end. Live cables run along the right hand side
    24410085176_fd542b29e3_b.jpg

    6. & 7. Two small holes either side of the narrow end lead into these cavities alongside the underpass where you can still see the old poster boards on the walls
    23809574473_8c301e7d2f_c.jpg 24410128576_239a8c7c03_c.jpg

    8. & 9. Unfortunately the ladder at the end takes you no further.
    23808099084_1ce8b4e636_c.jpg 24140713980_2befc31b21_c.jpg

    10. Back towards Holborn street signs lay scattered everywhere
    24140628720_558d919440_b.jpg

    11.
    24436251285_daefe7f1a7_b.jpg

    12. An old staircase leading to the surface
    24068396959_87413f358a_b.jpg

    13. Film set posters
    24327941982_49ba2ec2f8_b.jpg

    14. Platform down the middle where trams would have pulled in either side
    23809410043_dc4458e11f_b.jpg

    15. This is how it looked back in the day
    23871219343_ca29802ff7_o.jpg

    16. Union Street poster and tube map also from 'The Escapist' film set
    24471953096_2f2ab5fe2b_b.jpg

    17.
    23809329663_4a97af250b_b.jpg

    18. This section retains all it's original tiling in great condition
    24389942712_6f4e5107cd_b.jpg

    19.
    24409963706_f2bb4f19e5_b.jpg

    20. Still some bits leftover from the crossrail site
    23809358973_f013c9bb8b_b.jpg

    21. Original tracks running towards Holborn
    24140547980_dde5376bfd_b.jpg

    Thanks for looking default_grinning-smiley-003.gif
     

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  2. BrainL

    BrainL 28DL Full Member
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    Very interesting! Great report and shots mate, love the comparison of past and present :) :)
     
    dawie and The_Raw like this.
  3. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Nice ones mate . Enjoyed that :thumb

    Just a dheavily dunken Monkey ?....really ;)
     
    The_Raw likes this.
  4. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Proper interesting mate
     
    The_Raw likes this.
  5. Oort

    Oort The Spice Must Flow.
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    Beautiful!
     
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  6. kkj

    kkj 28DL Regular User
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    Decent report, good work for getting in!
     
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  7. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks all :thumb

    The rest of us were merely getting there.... :p
     
    PatientTheory likes this.
  8. The Kwan

    The Kwan Easily Led
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    The Raw, this is lovely, those film set posters look proper, nice report :thumb
     
    The_Raw likes this.
  9. elliot5200

    elliot5200 28DL Regular User
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    What a stunner! Good to see it all intact still after Crossrail have moved in
     
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  10. obscurity

    obscurity Flaxenation of the G!!!
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    nice mate. This one was on the list years ago. May have to go for a poke then as I had forgotten about it to be honest
     
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  11. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Nice history there. I enjoyed that. Cheers :thumb
     
    The_Raw likes this.
  12. bhg

    bhg In Search of Lost Time
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    really good report! posters look amazing, thank you for sharing!
     
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  13. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    That is really interesting. I fully enjoyed reading this.
     
    The_Raw likes this.
  14. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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    That's awesome! Nice one for finding a way inside.

    Really good set of shots too.
     
    The_Raw likes this.
  15. dawie

    dawie 28DL Full Member
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    Love the comparison pics, and the film posters
     
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