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Report - Queensway Tunnel / Vent Station

snappel

BMW 4 LIFE
28DL Full Member
#1
Went on another tour of the Georges Dock Ventilation Station the other week, where I met 'u10694' (thanks again for the invite). As I've said before, well worth it for the few quid they charge you. Excellent tour, plenty of info, cameras not a problem and it's not swamped in health and safety rubbish. Not UE, I grant you, but I'm sure some of you will find it interesting.

You start off in the main building, where the Art Deco theme continues inside. Fantastic architecture...

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First main area to be toured was the main control room. This alone was fantastic, and as was typical of the era it had been originally fitted out by English Electric, with a characteristic grey control panel. Unfortunely (for me anyway...) this is gradually becoming more and more computerised. As a result the days of the big control panel are numbered, and the engineers will be sad to see it go.

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From here it's down into the depths of the ventilation station, down a long series of staircases, through air-lock doors and eventually to 'road level' (i.e. normal ground level).

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Here you reach the huge exhaust fans. There are two of everything here to ensure there's always a backup system available. So two exhaust fans, and two clean air fans. Monstrous beasts, with fans nearly 30ft in diameter.

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Further down and it's more electrical gear, this time isolators, transformers and power supplies for the fan motors...

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Interestingly the tour route deviates into one of the old arches under the Georges Dock causeway that once ran between two parts of Georges Dock. From here you can see through a hole into the next arch, and all of them still exist underground. Another hole leads into the Cunard Building basement, but you'd need some pretty trick ropework or ladders to get through.

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Finally it's down to the tunnel level itself, through a network of tunnels and staircases. A small lift is available, but it's probably quicker to take the stairs.

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Interesting you can also go under the road deck in the tunnel, and alongside the 'central avenue' lower tunnel, which is used for the passage of air and cables and ducts. The huge air supply tunnels are also walkable, and at the end you can see them curve up as they run vertically up to the ventilation station. Then it's back to the surface.

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