We went and visited a WW2 Shelter last night on the outskirts of London. The place was absolutely incredible and even had left behind remnants. We found it that it had been unsealed again so we decided to set off straight away as we did not want to miss this chance. I hope you enjoy the video!
I couldn't find to much however the shelter was built on the grounds of Cane Hill Asylum around the time of WW2. There were also another 3 tunnels built at the same time. Sometime after the war the tunnels were bought by a specialist manufacture of optical devices which included mainly lenses for large telescopes. The Company left the site in the early 70s to then go on and finish trade in 1978. It basically then turned into a tipping site for old car parts until they were sealed up by the local council.
For those who is planning to go to Antwerp metro! Beware that it's Belgium, and the actual presence of trams in the tunnels might not be consistent with their schedule!
Being already inside one of the tunnels of the active line, we suddenly heard noise behind. I checked the schedule in advance, the next tram was supposed to be only in 8 min, but it was behind us now! There is nothing in the tunnel where one could hide in, so we had to run to the next station. We managed to hide there right before the tram arrived (thanks to the guy I was with, because he found a good place while I didn't know what to do ). I don't know if the driver saw us or not, but no one came to search for us.
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.
This was another one of those what the fuck just happened moments in my life.
So I was on my way back from (not so) sunny South Wales with @The_Raw @extreme_ironing and @sentinel after visiting @Lenston when I got a call from a very excited @Frosty. "Mail Rail is doable." I know by now if he says something is possible then he's normally right. We had looked at ways into the network on many many occasions, each time being thwarted at the 11th hour by something so this was high on our list and deserved all our attention.
Initially like a fool I passed on this trip. Well I was supposed to be at work early the next day and I was, for want of a better word, fucked. An enthusiastic night out drinking the night before had definitely taken it's toll. However on my home to sunny(er) Kent after dropping some people off in London, I realised what an immense idiot I was being and 4 hours later found myself back where I had just been with the people I had just been with (minus @sentinel who was sleeping off his weekend) emerging into the gloomy depths of the abandoned tunnels. It was an insane day.
The Post office Railway (or Mail rail as it became known) is for many considered the 'holy grail' of exploration, especially in London. I can understand why, you've got an entire abandoned miniature underground railway complete with stations, rolling stock, miles of tunnel and the powers still on. It's pretty cool. You can walk for miles under London's streets and not really know where you are and it's also not that easy to access.
It was constructed in the early part of the 20th century to link together some of the main London sorting offices and alleviate delays that occurred in moving mail around London on the surface. Construction started in 1915, but was suspended just over a year later due to labour shortages. The line was eventually completed and became available for use during 1927 and was in service from February 1928 onward.
I could go into the detailed history of the railway and it's design, but I'd be writing for ages and there's plenty online about it if you want to do some research. Needless to say that by the early 2000's the system was in need of major investment to keep it working efficiently and now only had 3 stations out of the original 7 due to relocation of the sorting offices above. In 2003 the railway was officially mothballed, but has more-or-less been totally abandoned. It would take a significant injection of cash to even think about bringing it back into service and there wouldn't be much point as there's now only 2 live sorting offices located on the route, pity.
In October 2013 the British postal museum announced plans to open part of the network to the public and indeed this is pressing ahead. In the coming years it will be possible to visit the station and workshops at Mount Pleasant and (apparently) go on a short train ride round one of the loops. I'm actually pleased at least part of the system is being preserved because it is a unique place and deserves it's place in history. I just hope they do a good job and don't make it too gimmicky.
What you see here is only a small section of the line from Rathbone place to Mount Pleasant. I needed to get home so I left after we reached Mount Pleasant. Regretted it ever since because try thou we might we've not managed to get back in, but we have got oh so close (oh you have no idea!)
So on with some photos. It won't be anything you've not seen before, but here is my take on the Post Office Railway.
Rathbone station is now a tad damp because of the building work going on above it.
Typical tunnel section twin tracks
Before the stations, the twin tracks break into two smaller tunnels and split apart to go either side of the platform.
This was actually an abandoned tunnel to the original western district office which was re-located in 1958. The abandoned tunnel was used as a siding to store locomotives and wagons in.
Trains in tunnels
Just before Mount Pleasant station, you have these massive doors, which I'm lead to believe are for flood protection.
Coming up to Mount Pleasant
And that's as far as I went.
Thanks for Looking!