Historic tunnel plays vital Crossrail roleJul 2012
Crossrail News Release
A historic former tram tunnel that has been largely abandoned for the last 60 years is being temporarily brought back into use as part of London's Crossrail project.
Crossrail western tunnels contractor BFK (a JV of BAM/Ferrovial/Kier), is making use of the subway to build an 8m x 5m grout shaft below the floor of the tunnel. The shaft, which is scheduled for completion later this summer, is being built to protect nearby buildings and infrastructure from ground movement when the Crossrail TBMs reach the area next year (2013).
The tram tunnel underneath Kingsway, which closed in 1952, once took passengers from Holborn to Waterloo Bridge, providing a link between the north and south London tram networks.
Disused Kingsway tram tunnel
How the tunnel used to look Photo by: London Transport Museum
Sinking the grout shaft
Keith Sibley, Crossrail Area Director West, said: "The Kingsway tram tunnel has played a fascinating and unique role in London's transport history. Now it will play a vital part in helping prepare the ground for the city's most ambitious transport project to date. As the tunnel is a Grade II listed structure, Crossrail will return the Camden section of the tram tunnel to its prior condition when the works are completed."
Martin Harrison-Putnam, Head of Collections at London Transport Museum said: "The tram tunnel operated for less than 50 years and provided the only link between the north and south London tram networks. Opened in 1906, serving two subterranean stations at Holborn and Aldwych, the tunnel was enlarged in 1929 to accommodate double deck trams. The pioneering decision by London County Council to construct the country's first tram tunnel was both innovative for its time and now of enduring historical importance."
Once the grout works are completed Crossrail has agreed to restore the fabric of the tunnel and lay new tram rails and cobble stones.
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