Saturday, 10 February 2018

Down A Tunnel, In A Tube.

Right then, in an effort to increase the posting frequency of this blog from around one per year I shall try to remember to post some trip reports. First up:

Hidden London - The Lost Tunnels of Euston Underground Station

24th January 2018

It was a very rainy January afternoon when I arrived at Euston so having about 45 minutes to spare before meeting the Hidden London guides in Melton Street I hid for a while in Costa and then in the waiting room in the mainline station which is near the Melton St. exit.

Melton St.
Melton Street
After introductions and a safety briefing inside the old Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead Railway Melton St. station building we were issued with Hi-Vis jerkins (which as usual fitted like a rubber band on an egg) and shown some of the still extant interior features of the station building which opened in 1907. The interior is now dominated by a large ventilation system for the tunnels below but there are bits of original decorative tiling and moulding visible amongst the pipes, cables , and equipment. Outside in Drummond St. we were given a quick history lesson and look at the outside of the building (fortunately the rain had eased off).
Euston CCE&HR Station
CCE&HR Station, Drummond St. side.
 It's a classic Leslie Green station with big arched windows and ox-blood red tiling. Alas it will be demolished as part of the HS2 project but it is planned to save the tiles for maintaining the other Leslie Green stations in London.

From there it was off across the road to the main line station and down.

The tour takes in tunnels which were previously foot passageways for passengers between different parts of the station but as the station has developed and been rearranged are no longer used and are now locked off. They are still used by engineering staff however for storage and form part of the ventilation system of the station.
Tunnel between City & South London Rlwy.
platforms and lifts to London & North Western Rlwy
booking hall.
They don't ever see a cleaner however so if you go on a tour don't wear your best bib and tucker.

One of the most interesting things about these tunnels is the old posters which have been left on the walls since the tunnels ceased to be used by passengers. Here's a selection of the better preserved ones:

BR Poster
More miles for your money.
British Rail Bargain Travel. With graffiti.

Pullman train poster
Blue Pullman
 The Midland Pullman, the train of today!

Cameo Royal
Cinema posters, the Cameo Royal in Charing Cross Road and the Cameo Poly in Regent Street featured foreign 'art' films. The Cameo Poly showed the first X-certificate film ‘La Vie Commence Demain’

A kind of loving
A Kind of Loving is a 1962 British drama film directed by John Schlesinger, based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Stan Barstow. It stars Alan Bates and June Ritchie as two lovers in early 1960s Lancashire.

The Knife
The Knife (Dutch: Het Mes) is a 1961 Dutch drama film directed by Fons Rademakers. It was entered into the 1961 Cannes Film Festival

Theosophy is a collection of mystical and occultist philosophies concerning, or seeking direct knowledge of the presumed mysteries of life and nature, particularly of the nature of divinity and the origin and purpose of the universe.

Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace, Easter Monday Motor Cycle Racing

PSYCHO Cert X 1960. 

Your Accomodation Service has been replaced by a Londis convenience shop.

Passengers changing between the Charing Cross, Euston & Hampstead, and City & South London railways would have to purchase a new ticket at this underground Ticket Office in a tunnel between the two company's stations:

Ticket Office

Not from this fellow though, he's one of the LTM guides!

Not all the tunnels visited were originally for passengers. This tunnel was purposely dug as a ventilation shaft for the Victoria Line although in  terms of construction it's a standard tube tunnel. 

Tunnel tourists
Ventilation tunnel
Above the platforms
From the top you can look down through the grilles onto the platforms below. Hang on to your possessions - you drop it, you've lost it.

Lift shaft
Lift shaft
Looking up one of the two disused lift shafts between the Underground and L&NWR Euston mainline stations.

Lift lobby
The lift bottom lobby showing where the entrances to the lift cars were.