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Thread: Queensway Tunnel

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    Senior Member iain's Avatar
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    Default Queensway Tunnel

    If it were being built today, a 44ft (13m) diameter tunnel under a river estuary, with two branches, underwater junctions and four tunnel portals to be squeezed into city centre locations would be an incredibly large-scale project.


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    In 1923, the only viable prospect was to have it excavated by hand. No tunnel of comparable diameter had been built before, and nothing existed to match its length or its complexity. No ground surveys could be carried out. No mechanism existed by which central government could plan such large-scale schemes. The railways, which held enormous political sway, were vociferous opponents, given that they operated the only existing river crossing. The odds were, really, stacked against it.

    All the same, the Mersey Tunnel Joint Committee was formed in 1923 and within a little more than two years work had started. When it opened, it was the engineering marvel of the world.

    More here ... old maps, wartime plans, destruction of Birkenhead...

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    Cheers Iain
    Liverpool in Pictures/ YO! Liverpool has taken me over 10 years to develop and maintain.

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    Otterspool Onomatopoeia Max's Avatar
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    I saw a cyclist cyling through the Birkenhead tunnel last Sunday when out driving, are cyclists allowed to cycle through? I thought you couldn't.
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

  4. #4
    George
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    I saw a cyclist cyling through the Birkenhead tunnel last Sunday when out driving, are cyclists allowed to cycle through? I thought you couldn't.
    Prolly got nabbed at the checkpoint

    I went through the tunnel years ago on a Honda50,got halfway and the bleedin bike started coughin&fartin...turns out the air was so dense the petrol/air mixture was weak.

    The liver buildings has the walkway entrance to the tunnel down in its basement and walkway spans the full length of the tunnel,yta have those doors at the side of the tunnel? well they house the man tunnel.

    I would have hated the job of putting up all the tunnel lights though...by heck that must have been a tedious job.
    Last edited by George; 06-05-2009 at 08:47 AM.

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    Member Scouse Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    I saw a cyclist cyling through the Birkenhead tunnel last Sunday when out driving, are cyclists allowed to cycle through? I thought you couldn't.
    They can. Only off peak periods though.

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    Otterspool Onomatopoeia Max's Avatar
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    Aye, found out that on the Merseytravel site.

    There needs to be a free bridge to get to the Wirral like the info Waterways posted about. The Runcorn bridge is free and theres a free bridge to north Wales too!

    Liverpool gets treated and is a dump in the majority.
    Gididi Gididi Goo.

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    Newbie Sonke's Avatar
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    Default Information / stories on Queensway tunnel construction

    Hello everyone,

    I have made a short b+w Super 8 film driving through the Queensway tunnel (as I like tunnels) and I was wondering if anyone would share their family or other personal history of the construction of the tunnel with me.

    I have heard that the workers put a steel plate on the sole of their left boot as kicking the spades into the ground was ruining the leather. When the walked to work in the morning this created some almighty sound. Also that they were the best dressed workers in the country at the time as the wages were relatively good but the work was so dangerous that some bought themselves new suits every week - could be the last one the buy after all.

    If anyone had some personal stories or anecdotes of fathers, uncles, family-friends to share about live as a worker at the construction or live in Liverpool at the time that would be greatly appreciated.


    This is for a non-commercial art-project. The film is to be shown in October in a little show in Germany. Naturally I would credit all involved in the accompanying material.

    Many thanks,
    Sonke Faltien

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    Newbie jon b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonke View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I have made a short b+w Super 8 film driving through the Queensway tunnel (as I like tunnels) and I was wondering if anyone would share their family or other personal history of the construction of the tunnel with me.

    I have heard that the workers put a steel plate on the sole of their left boot as kicking the spades into the ground was ruining the leather. When the walked to work in the morning this created some almighty sound. Also that they were the best dressed workers in the country at the time as the wages were relatively good but the work was so dangerous that some bought themselves new suits every week - could be the last one the buy after all.

    If anyone had some personal stories or anecdotes of fathers, uncles, family-friends to share about live as a worker at the construction or live in Liverpool at the time that would be greatly appreciated.


    This is for a non-commercial art-project. The film is to be shown in October in a little show in Germany. Naturally I would credit all involved in the accompanying material.

    Many thanks,
    Sonke Faltien

    Hi Sonke,

    Link to a previous post of mine

    http://www.yoliverpool.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11813

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    Newbie Quillandpen's Avatar
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    There is an excellent tour of the ventilation shaft, as well as a emergency exits, under-road walkways, as well as the planned train tunnels, most Saturday mornings. Pre-book, think the cost is ?5. You can also buy a book and DVD about it from the shop in the main shaft near Liver Biulding.

    IRO the motorcycle croaking, it is said that the air in the tunnel is some of the freshest in Liverpool...

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    Pablo42 pablo42's Avatar
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    I went down in a bucket to the new tunnel when that was being built. I also worked on it. Hate going underground, I think I must be a cleptomaniac or something.

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