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Report - The Thames Tunnels, Pimlico to Battersea - November '11

OliverT

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
I've been concentrating a lot on infrastructure around London lately, and this tunnel was high on my list. So as soon as I saw that Kevin Arnold had recently cracked it, it became priority and decided to do it that weekend... Unfortunately the idea of killing a few hours in Battersea beforehand failed a little, and soon enough we realised it was 5am, and we had to get out before the sun came up...

Weekend after, we decided that would be the night it definitely got done; so myself, Analepsis and Half Life went South-West, visiting Lots Road before hand.

I'd wanted to see this one since I first came across it a year or so ago; the idea of crossing the Thames in an uncharted tunnel sounded good to me :)

The tunnel itself starts off as a square, lit, concrete tunnel with a few bends in it, before reaching the shaft. I didn't get any pictures of this part unfortunately; I didn't get my camera out before I reached the shaft, and on the way out my feet were wet, and time was getting on. So it was time to get up the tower before everyone woke up.
The tunnel was built originally to carry excess steam from Battersea power station to the Churchill Gardens Estate. When the power station closed, purpose built boilers were constructed to keep the estate heated.
Nowadays, I believe the tunnel just carrys watermains. So it's a little soggy down there :)

The shaft leading down:
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And the tunnel section that runs under the Thames:
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I first thought it'd just be two shafts at either end, with the tunnel joining it. Apparently not. There were four shafts in total, with some more modern concrete tunnels joining them up.

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And back up again..
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The estate accumulator tower:
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By this point I could see lights flicking on around the estate as the residents gradually woke up. So it was time to call it a night before anyone spotted us...
Thanks for looking.
 

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