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The secrets of the legendary catacombs of Paris, a tunnel system that spans more than 280km in length.By anthrax
The secrets of the legendary catacombs of Paris, a tunnel system that spans more than 280km in length.
The catacombs in Paris hold remains of more than six million people. They are part of a tunnel network that runs below Paris that is more than 280 kilometers long. No one knows how far the tunnels extend in total, as there are still many paths that are unmapped and even undiscovered. The main reason behind the tunnels was to extract Lutetian limestone for use as a building material. For instance, parts of the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde and Les Invalides were built with limestone from this tunnel system.
The catacombs only take up about 2.1km of the tunnel system and they are the only part that is legally accessible. Even though that is the case, many people refer to the surrounding tunnel network when speaking about the "Catacombs of Paris".
The ossuary was created in the late 1700s to tackle the problem of overflowing cemeteries and until the early 19th century, the ossuary was largely forgotten until it became a novelty place for concerts and other private events.
The network is mostly intact today and is regularily toured by urban explorers or so called "Cataphiles".
If anyone is curious about the way we took, the names of the rooms we went into and a bit of a sidestory, here's the full post (warning: It's damn long and I feel it would overcrowd the forums)
Also, even though I posted a lot of photos, these are not all, so feel free to check out the rest of them if anyone has gotten curious.
DSC_9230 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9239 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9241 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9245 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9250 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9254 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9257 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9265_1 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9276 by anthrax, auf Flickr
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DSC_9281 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9283_1 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9290_1 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9311 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9338 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9343_2 by anthrax, auf Flickr
DSC_9346_1 by anthrax, auf Flickr
The engineering company J.E. Billups of Cardiff who also constructed Mireystock Bridge and the masonry work on the Lydbrook viaduct commenced construction of the tunnel in 1872 using forest stone. The tunnel is 221 metres in length and took 2 years to construct. The tunnel allowed the connection of the Severn and Wye Valley railway running from Lydney with the Ross and Monmouth network at Lydbrook. The first mineral train passed through the tunnel on 16 August 1874. Passenger services commenced in September 1875 pulled by the engine Robin Hood.
The history of this section of line is not without incident - a railway ganger was killed in the tunnel by a train in 1893 and a locomotive was derailed by a fallen block of stone in the cutting at the northern entrance in 1898.
The line officially closed to passenger trains in July 1929 but goods trains continued to use the line until the closure of Arthur & Edward Colliery at Waterloo in 1959 and Cannop Colliery in 1960. Lifting of the track was completed in 1962. The tunnel and cutting were buried with spoil in the early 1970's.
Thanks to the vision and enthusiasm of a group of local Forest railway enthusiasts assisted by Forest Enterprise the top of the northern portal of the tunnel (with its unusual elliptical shape) which has lain buried for 30 years has now been exposed.
As of 2018 the tunnel now still lays abandoned with no sign of the cycle track and the £50,000 funding seemingly gone to waste.
Thanks for looking
hi having finished a job fairly nearby it was time to do another one on my to do list that being clarborough railway tunnel.
clarborough tunnel was built in 1850 and lies just over 2 miles from retford in nottinghamshire on the branch line of the sheffield to lincoln line
which sees an hourly service between the 2 cities and occasional freight trains and is a site of special scientific intrest and houses clarborough nature reserve on top of the tunnel.
proposed in 1844 and completed in 1850 by the manchester sheffield and lincoln railway ( MSLR) continues to trent junction where it joins the great northern and great eastern joint railway ( GN&GEJR) from doncaster and continues eastwards to cleethorpes via brigg and in a southerly direction to lincoln where it rejoins the east coast main line south of peterborough there was also a junction at clarborough which ran via torksey to sykes junction continuing on to lincoln and cleethorpes via market rasen this closed in 1959 but reopened in 1967 as far cottham to serve the power station all other freight traveling via gainsborough lea road .
now a word of warning to would be explorers..... exploring live railway tunnels is not something to be approached lightly unlike dead tunnels they still have frequent trains running through them most are tucked out of the way and may be difficult to access but the main considerations are safety first dont do anything which would put yourself in danger and always be constantly on the look out for trains and most of all ensure you are not seen as nowadays they delay trains which incurs fines for the operator so BTP will not be sympathetic if you get caught and you may find yourself in front of the magistrate.
that said clarborough tunnel is accessed fom church lane following the road for around a mile untill i found the line at cherry holt crossing on whinleys road a continuation of church lane my goal clarborough tunnel was around a quarter mile further on but not fancying playing dodge the train i parked the car at the locked crossing gates and set off on foot uphill again to find a way to the tunnel.
passing cherry holt farm i attracted the attention of a rather loud doberman dog who proceded to follow me up the farmers field barking loudly being glad there was a large fence between myself and it walked in to the wood and nature reserve.
following the main path through the wood i gained the nature reserve and found the ventilation shaft for the tunnel continuing on the right hand path found myself at the top of the east portal of clarborough tunnel.
the next qustion was how to get down to it with a very steep bank and bushes after much probing found a gap and had to slide down the steep bank on my arse using my boots and grass as a brake eventually reaching the bottom and ensuring nothing was lurking walked towards the tunnel.
an aproaching train caused me to take cover behind a retaining wall after which i spent around 20 mins photographing and deciding the best way out.
not really fancying a 650 yard walk through the tunnel then a quarter mile to the crossing and not having a timetable it had to be the same way i got in but this time up the side of the tunnel bank and across the tunnel top and after much climbing got over the fence and rolled myself a fag while i regained my composure returning back through the reserve picked up a big stick lest my 4 legged friend should be around and find a way through the fence at least i,d got something to brain it with.
there was no sign of the dog and thought it had gone in for its tea untill a large shape rounded the corner barking furiously yes my friend was back and continued to follow me down the field to much barking.
leaving my walking stick at the crossing for someone else to use managed to grab a couple of train pictures to add to my report and another explore crossed off the list.
cherry holt crossing the adventure starts here....
clarborough tunnel in the distance the signs warn engineers they are entering a site of scientific intrest and must obtain special permission to work here.
the crossing access board
clarborough tunnel ventilation shaft
looking down from the top of the tunnel
looking towards lincoln i came down the steep bank on my arse on the left
first view of clarborough tunnel,s east portal from the embankment
trackside safety first from here on in
lantern repeater signal TN 835 (thrumpton) stands guard in the clear position at the tunnel portal
clarboroughs tunnel board
some nice beams in the tunnel roof that extend right through the tunnel which can be seen as they disapear into the darkness
a tunnel marker
looking outside the tunnel is quite wet in places
a brick reccess and signal cable
my reccess was cut in with a steel lintel above it
blast on the roof from its steam days
climbing back up the bank
the top capping stones and brickwork
a broken drain pipe
looking down the banking at the track
as a northern railbus scoots into the tunnel
another view of the capping stones
clarborough nature reserve is right on top of clarborough tunnel and extends the full length of the tunnel
back at the crossing as 66740 and 017 top and tail a coal train from cottham power staion out of the tunnel
came across these on my way back up church lane think they are something to do with the fun day ...beautifull babs windsor
wallace and grommit
love this one british strawberries and cream
Hunting Butts tunnel often gets overlooked but it is the shorter of the two tunnels on the Honeybourne Line. It has track laid through it and it is used to store rolling stock although the Cheltenham end of the tunnel is fenced off with a robust steel palisade. Hunting Butts tunnel is just 97 yards long and was originally envisaged as a deep cutting. However, this would have severed the gallops then used by the new racecourse so, perhaps with an eye on future revenue afforded by the racecourse the GWR agreed to build the tunnel and it was completed in the Autumn of 1904. Cheltenham Race Course station was completed in 1912; six years after the line had opened throughout.
The Honeybourne Line was effectively closed in 1976 following a freight train derailment on what is now known as 'Chicken Curve' north of Winchcombe, probably because of movement in the embankment. This is a problem that has beset this location since the 1920s and in January 2011 finally collapsed, severing the line. No through trains traversed the route after that date and it was officially closed later November 1976.
In 2010 the trackbed was replaced and is now used to store rolling stock.
Thanks for looking
In early 2018 we visited one of the new tunnels of Paris metro which for the moment (May 2018) is still under construction. Recently I was told that this place is no longer accessible due to active works that doesn't stop even at night, so I will publish some pictures. Btw, we managed to get in only from the 2nd try - there is a security guy walking around the construction site (on the street).
The new tunnel is 2km long. We walked till the end and on the way back checked out the end of the active line. There were two trains. Soon we heard some noise (like if someone'd open a door) and left the place.