Monday, July 9, 2012

Kingsway Tram Tunnel, London, UK

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 has been mostly left abandoned. Between 8 October and 8 November 2009, the tunnel hosted a site-specific art installation called Chord by artist Conrad Shawcross. A project for a new tram line making use of the tunnel was cancelled in 2008. However, the tunnel was later acquired by Crossrail that is currently using it as a worksite for the construction of a new tunnel directly under the old one. 

SEE ALSO: More abandoned railway tunnels and stations around the world // More abandoned ungerground places // More abandoned places in the United Kingdom // LIST OF ALL DESERTED PLACES 
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The northern entrance in 2003

Approaching Holborn station, 2003

Holborn station on the right viewed from the southbound track. The tunnel is used by Camden Council for storage

The exit at the northern end of Holborn station below ground

Looking south from the southbound track, 2003 

Until 1984, a portable building near the north of the tunnel was used as a flood control headquarters for the Greater London Council: 

Fake roundel for “Union Street” station; the tunnel was recently used to film scenes for The Escapist

The small office at Holborn

The tunnel entrance, 1906 – 1920, from the collection of London Transport Museum, copyright TfL

The tunnel pictured at some point between 1945 and 1951, from the collection of London Transport Museum, copyright TfL


1 comment:

  1. This looks like a perfect place to film a horror movie!


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