Report - Great Howard Street Bridge & Western End structures of Waterloo tunnel - May 2013

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28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Mar 4, 2013
North West England
Waterloo & Victoria Tunnels History – Western End.

Twelve years after the Lime Street tunnel was bored in 1848 from Edge Hill, the 2.07 mile Victoria/Waterloo Tunnel
was bored under Liverpool's City Centre to the north end of the docks. Official opened in 1848 after a build time of
three years the tunnels were initially used only for rail freight to the docks, in 1895 passenger trains began running
in the tunnel.

From 1895 the termination point of the line at the western end was Riverside Station at the Ship Liner
Terminal at Pier Head, at one time the waterloo tunnel would of passed under the old Exchange station
lines, where the old Great Howard Station was then onto Waterloo Goods station and the line carrying on to Liverpool
Riverside Station and the Dock Railway System.

Waterloo Goods station is where Costco and Toys R Us stand today and Liverpool Riverside Station site now has
office buildings on it. The site of Waterloo Goods Station has a few traces left but most went when Toys R Us
and Costco where built, but there are old walls of the station building still there, the same with Great Howard Street
station although not much else at all.

The approach tunnel from the docks to Great Howard Street Station now leads into a car park where the old Exchange
Station platforms used to be then on into the 2.07 mile Waterloo and Victoria Tunnels, my next report which will take us
from this western end all the way via Brom Street cutting to Edge Hill Station.

All lines were closed and virtually all railway operations ceased in 1964 along with the closure of Waterloo Goods Station.

The Explore

Finding a way into the Waterloo/Victoria tunnels it was decided to search the West End of the car park first so under the northern
rail line bridge I and a non-member went to look around. When looking around the area adjacent to Great Howard Street
it was apparent a hole had been back filled so a carful scan along the edge to see if there could be another way in. Near
the right hand side a small hole was found, so a bit of kicking down of the soil and bricks with the willies on a big enough
gap was made to get under Great Howard Street. Before climbing down a quick look back over the car park to check
we were still alone a small hole was noticed in the brickwork of the tunnel we had just walked under to the upper left hand
side, it looked quite small and wasn’t going to be easy to get into but alone that wasn’t a good enough reason not to try.

01 - The hole in the upper left brickwork

02 - The First view after crawling through

03 - Crawling through every two arches was a crossway leading both left and right, this is looking right... thinking it was blocked up by that slope had a little mooch through, it spanned the entre bridge

04 - After crawling over the top of the bridge to the right hand side a great view of the structure

05 - Some of the lime scale that has build up

06 - The way out

07 - Once a way in without needing to climb

Moving on

After an hour or so inside the hole in the bridge it was clear they were maybe used for maintenance but we were eager to get the images and get into the 2nd part of our explore of this site as it is very cramped crawling through the arches although once through each, head high was 12 foot at least. After crawling out and heading back to the Great Howard Street bridge opening we stopped for a quick drink, it was the warmest day of the year so far so much needed. Drink downed and down we went under the bridge. In my opinion, it was great, the iron beams and structures visually were quite pleasing and we spent a couple of hours down here having a good look around though there is not much to see due to constant backfilling the iron work and support beams are very interesting and it looks as if no-one has been down there for a while.

08 - Under Great Howard street the Ironwork & Supports

09 - Supports

10 - Getting as far into as possible this was the view looking right

11 - So to the right we went - sorry about the focus issue on this image, it was a nightmare getting correct exposure and focus.

12 - Railway reminders

13 - As we headed out a final view of the Ironwork

The 3rd and final part

Finally after making the most of the bridge and heading back over the car park towards the waterloo tunnel I always make a point to check the boundary walls and behind a massive bush, very well hidden was a separate tunnel turning right at the end… intrigued in we went to a dead end..., 15 meters in but was still a bonus little find before heading into the Waterloo and Victoria Tunnels... (Full report coming soon)

14 - What lies behind

15 - What lay behind... The 3rd part of this Western End site before heading to the waterloo/Victoria Tunnel

Here's an original view of the area where we have explored, the bridge the train us under and the Great Howard Street Bridge in front.

Image above courtesy of 28DL Member - Bovine :Not Worthy

It was great day out in the warm sunshine. Thanks for looking.​


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