Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Kingsway Tram Tunnel and Crossrail

Recent developments at Kingsway, former tunnel in central London originally built to be used by trams carrying passengers from Holborn to Waterloo bridge and providing a link between the north and south London tram networks.  Opening in 1906, it served stations at Holborn and Aldwych and was enlarged to accommodate double-decker trams in 1929; it closed in 1952.  The southern end was converted into the busy Strand underpass, which opened in 1964.  The northern section has been mostly abandoned, being used as a store by Camden council and occasionally by the odd film-crew and art installation.  Now it's been reported that Crossrail is using the northern entrance to construct  a grout shaft 8 metres deep and 5 metres wide.  To minimise ground settlement during tunnelling activity these shafts allow grout to be pumped deep into the earth to stabilise it and protect nearby buildings from any potential ground movement.  Tunnel boring machines Phyllis and Ada are due to pass beneath this area in 2013. According to Keith Sibley, Crossrail Area Director West: '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 to its prior condition when the works are completed.'

Talking of Crossrail, you may be interested to learn that there will be tours this weekend (22nd and 23rd September) of Bond Street Crossrail station (although it looks from the text as if you won't actually be going into the construction area).  Details here (scroll down to Westminster).  I hope to go on Saturday morning, but if the queues are impossible I won't be hanging around.

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