Report - Kingsway Tram Tunnel, London - January 2016

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Dec 1, 2013
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.



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

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

3. Still some live switches and cables down here

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

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

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

8. & 9. Unfortunately the ladder at the end takes you no further.

10. Back towards Holborn street signs lay scattered everywhere


12. An old staircase leading to the surface

13. Film set posters

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

15. This is how it looked back in the day

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


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


20. Still some bits leftover from the crossrail site

21. Original tracks running towards Holborn

Thanks for looking

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