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Thread: Liverpool's Old Historic Rail Tunnels

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Default Liverpool's Old Historic Rail Tunnels

    Crown Street Tunnel - 1829

    Running to Crown Street Station, 1829. Built by George Stephenson, a single track tunnel 291 yards long was bored from Edge Hill to Crown Street to serve the world's first passenger railway station. The station was abandoned in 1836 being too far from Liverpool city centre, with the area converted for freight use. Closed down in 1972, the tunnel is disused. However it is:
    • The oldest rail tunnel running under streets.
    • The second oldest rail tunnel in the world after the very short 1804 tunnel at Pentrebach, Merthyr Tydfil.



    ET Edge Hill. Crown St tunnel to the right, Wapping Tunnel in the middle. Both disused. To the left the 1840s Crown St tunnel, still sue for shunting


    Edge Hill in 1830. The tunnel to the left is short and for storage. In 1848 it was bored right through to Crown St and is still used today for shunting.

    Wapping Tunnel - 1830


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    The 1.26 mile (2.03 km) 1830 Wapping Tunnel in Liverpool, England, was the first rail tunnel bored under a metropolis. Currently disused since 1972 it is the second oldest tunnel under streets in the world. Having two tracks, the tunnel runs from Edge Hill in the east of the city to the south end Liverpool docks being used only for freight.

    The tunnel is still in excellent condition and is being considered for reuse by Merseyrail rapid transit rail system, with maybe an underground station cut into the tunnel. The river portal is opposite the new Liverpool Arena being ideal for a serving station. If reused it will be the oldest used underground rail tunnel in the world and oldest part of any underground metro system.

    Lime Street Tunnel - 1836

    1836, Lime St Station tunnel, Liverpool. A two track rail tunnel, 1.13 miles (1,811 m) long was bored under a metropolis from Edge Hill in the east of the city to Lime Street. In the 1880s the tunnel was converted to a deep open cutting four tracks wide. The only occurrence of a tunnel being removed. A very short section of the original tunnel still exists at Edge Hill and makes this the oldest tunnel in the world still in use and the oldest under a street, albeit only one street.

    At Edge Hill station additional one track tunnels were bored either side of the station platforms and the original 1836 tunnel to increase capacity to 4 lines.

    Victoria/Waterloo Tunnel - 1849

    This is one tunnel that changes its name along its run. The 2.07 miles (3.34 km) Waterloo Tunnel in Liverpool, opened in 1849, was bored under a metropolis. Initially used only for rail freight and later freight and passengers serving the Liverpool ship liner terminal at the Pier Head, the tunnel runs from Edge Hill in the east of the city to the north end Liverpool docks.

    Used until 1972 it is still in excellent condition, being considered for reuse by the Merseyrail rapid transit rail system. Stations being cut into the tunnel are being considered. Also, reuse by a monorail system from the proposed Liverpool Waters redevelopment of Liverpool's Central Docks has been proposed.

    At Edge Hill. The tunnel to the right is the disused 1848 Waterloo tunnel. The lines run in a few hundred yards. The tunnel to the left is the addition 1880's tunnel that runs into the cutting beyond. The original 1836 tunnel is the centre of the station beyond. It runs for a matter yards under Tunnel Rd above. It is still used making it the oldest used tunnel in the world and the oldest under streets. The red sandstone is blackened by the smoke from trains.

    River Mersey Rail Tunnel - 1886

    The Mersey Railway tunnel opened in 1886 running from Liverpool to Birkenhead under the River Mersey. By 1892 the extensions on land from Birkenhead Park station to Liverpool Central Low level station gave a tunnel 3.12 miles (5029 m) in length. The under river section is 0.75 miles in length, being the longest underwater tunnel in world in 1886.
    ----------------
    Last edited by Waterways; 03-30-2009 at 01:28 PM.
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    Excellent, where's the info from?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    Excellent, where's the info from?
    My research. As far as I am aware I have unearthed the point of the short section of the 1836 Lime St tunnel being the oldest used in the world. It is also the oldest used under streets. I have found nothing older being used.

    The Americans say the oldest tunnel under streets was the forgotten and sealed up Atlantic Avenue tunnel of 1844, in New York - it was rediscovered in 1980.

    The Liverpool tunnels pre-date this and any London tunnel.
    Last edited by Waterways; 03-29-2009 at 02:26 PM.
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    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
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    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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    Edge Hill station looking towards Lime St. The short tunnel at the end of the platforms is a part of the original 1836 tunnel. It runs under Tunnel Rd and the building above. It is the oldest used rail tunnel in the world, and the oldest used under streets. The sandstone buildings in the station are original. The original 1830 Edge Hill station was further to the south on the line running to Crown St station, being moved onto the Lime St line when operational.



    It have driven over the tunnel countless times and travelled in the 26 & 27 busses over it too - without knowing the historical importance. 99.99999% of people who went over never knew I'm sure. Countless people traveling to Lime St went through the tunnel, and still do, and never knew either.
    Last edited by Waterways; 03-30-2009 at 01:22 PM.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
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    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
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    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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    Remember Waterways, it was only opened in 1836... work had actually been going on since 1833. The tunnel was dug by sinking a series of shafts into the ground and then joining them up afterwards.

    Although Stevenson was the chief engineer, William Mackenzie was the 'on site' contractor for most of the work. He even moved to a house on Crown Street so he could be closer to his project.

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