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lmsforever

Tunnels into Marylebone

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Today as my train slowed before the tunnel into Marylebone I noted a second tunnel mouth to the right ,although I must have looked at it thousands of times only today did I wonder if the GCR were going to put a second tunnel down to Marylebone.Perhaps they were going use it for freight of which there was a great deal or maybe they planned an expansion of the station ,does anybody know anything about this tunnel mouth?

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Is this not a throw back to the pre-grouping period when the GC London extension came in over the Metropolitan to Marylebone?

After the formation of the LNER, then of London Transport, I believe the Met from Baker Street had its own dedicated tunnel route out to Finchley Road separate from the LNER from Marylebone.

 

But then...wasn't there a freight connection from the GC down onto the Paddington through to the Widened Lines Inner Circle until recent times?

 

dhig

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Today as my train slowed before the tunnel into Marylebone I noted a second tunnel mouth to the right ,although I must have looked at it thousands of times only today did I wonder if the GCR were going to put a second tunnel down to Marylebone.Perhaps they were going use it for freight of which there was a great deal or maybe they planned an expansion of the station ,does anybody know anything about this tunnel mouth?

 

 

I think this is down to the fact that the line is now double but was once four tracks through the tunnels at St Johns.

 

I could well be wrong but I don't think the GC actually ran on Metropoliton metals into Marylebone, just over the lines between Amersham and Neasdon, with the rest being a physically searate but adjacent line that offered no direct competetion with the Met between Harrow and Marylebone.  Today I'm pretty sure there's no physical connection (on the up) after Harrow on the Hill.

 

 

Cheers,

Paul

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Yes the GC ran on separate double tracks from Marylebone to Harrow with no connection to the Met until just before the platform ends ,I don't think that there was ever a connection to the widened lines you might be confusing it with Kings Cross ..

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The four tracks opened out after the exit from the tunnel you can see the remains still but they are all changed now but that diagram is very good as it was like this in the sixties with parcels stored on the milk dock.

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If you examine the original Great Central construction plans its quite clear that they made extensive 'passive provision' (to use a modern term) for significant expansion of their facilities and line capacity as traffic developed. For example Marylebone station building was built to a wider width than the original train shed so that when the terminus was doubled in width with an extra three roof bays the station building would require no alteration (Which is why it looks so ridiculous now with just two (1/3rd of the planned number of roof bays) still standing.)

 

If you read the history of the Great Central you will find out that the first bill was defeated in a large part thanks to the controversy of the company wishing to tunnel beneath Lords Cricket ground (even though the pitch itself would not be touched). While the GC were eventually successful in buying off the opposition with generous compensation and the offer to extend the ground over the site of some property the railway company were planning to demolish, rather than fase a similar battle in future when expansion of the approaches was desired, it made sense to construct two tunnels at the same time.

 

I also believe that at the time of building, sufficient land was purchased at Finchley so as to allow the construction of a second tunnel towards Marylebone (which would link up with the spare / underused / speculative bore under Lords).

 

While skeptics have in the past pointed out that the crossing of the WCML is only designed for two tracks, given its location between two tunnels its quite likely that a separate structure was being considered here if quadrupling was carried out - after all it doesn't follow that both tunnel bores would have to follow exactly the same route.

Edited by phil-b259

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Perhaps this link will help establish the location.

 

https://www.old-maps.co.uk/#/Map/528500/181500/12/101107

 

You will need to enlarge the picture out and then scroll to the north west to see the original layout of Marylebone goods and power station tracks.

That old maps site is far from the best, try the nls, they don't ask for subscriptions, http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=19&lat=51.5258&lon=-0.1652&layers=173

Look for the control on the left to change the transparency of the overlay, then you can see what is there now.

regards

Keith

Edited by Grovenor
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see, i knew taking these pics 4 years ago would come in handy!

 

looking back into the tunnel you can see the '2nd tunnel mouth', i didnt notice myself until id been coming in and out of there daily for a couple of years that the disused tunnel void was behind the wall you can see with white graffitti on, i assumed it was a soild backfilled structure

 

tunnel siding

856f7abd.jpg

 

old tunnel entrance, if you look carefully you can see that the 'entrance' is actually a bridge (lodge rd) and everything behind it is a new addition as far as st johns wood road

1266134a.jpg

 

the current tunnel (st johns wood) used to be a number of separate tunnels which have been backfilled to make one continuous tunnel from where the WCML goes under, some merely had air shafts covered, (there are still 3 smaller ones in situ) but the likes of where the regents park hotel is situated (right above the tunnel mouth) had quite long runs filled in, they show as open sidings on the map linked to above which are now obviously not there but also now 'underground' as can be made out in my pic above

 

there is also talk in the mess room at marylebone of a pedestrian tunnel behind an access door somewhere inside st johns wood tunnel that used to take you direct to marylebone cemetery, dont know how true that is!

 

a few more pics that me be useful and of interest

 

looking back towards marylebone, the flats are on the old goods shed/parcels depot

e417f93c.jpg

 

the curve of the wall can be seen here (north bank on the old map)

68e6eaf6.jpg

 

housing between the met and gc (shown as ruins on the old map)

4152619e.jpg

 

and looking the other way (milk depot/carriage shed on the old map)

0a2ac94b.jpg

 

turntable pit, basically up the white steps beyond the platforms (just north of rossmore rd on the old map but i seem to recall this isnt the original location)

b7cb83dc.jpg

 

im pretty sure that if you walk out of marylebone station via the side entrance the photographic display on the wall of the history of the station has a picture of the GC tunnelling under lords (cut and cover) and there are 2 tunnels being dug as a bit of 'forward planning', there may also be an brief explination in the caption below the piccie

Edited by big jim
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Had the GC managed to deliver its dream of a connection under the channel then I guess they would have needed more tracks out of Marylebone. Knowing they wouldn't have likely got two bites at the cherry to do all the cut and cover work it was probably prudent to put in the extra tunnel when they did the first.

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Today I'm pretty sure there's no physical connection (on the up) after Harrow on the Hill.

 

 

yes, you are right you can't get from the up onto the 'met proper' (as i call it) after harrow but there is however a connection for LUL stock from the 'down northbound fast' over to the chiltern lines (the 'down harrow', which becomes the northbound main at that point)

 

the last point you can get over to the met proper from the old GC lines is north harrow jn, the thing i remember that stuck in my mind from road learning that route with chiltern is the words my instructor told me about the signal protecting it...

 

"for **** sake if you get the flash there dont take it our your ****ed and going to baker street"

 

these things stick in your mind!

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lmsforever, looking back at one of my time lapse videos of the chiltern route, are you actually on about the tunnel north of the WCML (hamstead tunnel) as you can clearly see the 2 tunnel mouths on that one?

 

still from the vid

 

image.jpg1_3.jpg

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Thank you Jim that answers my question  the photos are brilliant ,wouldn't have been great if they had done the extra tracks. 

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This then lends weight to the proposals made under the Thatcher government to convert the GC into a busway. A lot of us poo-poo'd the idea at the time because it's not possible to pass 2 buses in a railway tunnel, most of failing to realise there were that many tunnels to Marylebone. However, are there more tunnels on the other side of the WCML?

 

The GC was not connected at Marylebone to the Met or widened lines.

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However, are there more tunnels on the other side of the WCML?

 

the tunnel mouth in post 14 is north of the wcml, the bridge over the WCML also looks like there used to be space for a 2nd bridge deck

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This then lends weight to the proposals made under the Thatcher government to convert the GC into a busway. A lot of us poo-poo'd the idea at the time because it's not possible to pass 2 buses in a railway tunnel, most of failing to realise there were that many tunnels to Marylebone. However, are there more tunnels on the other side of the WCML?

 

The GC was not connected at Marylebone to the Met or widened lines.

 

The proposal to convert the former GCR line into London into a busway (coachway actually) would have used just the single bore which the railway still uses today.  It acknowledged the existence of the second bore but apparently enough measuring had been done to "confirm" that two double-deck coaches could safely pass at the intended road speed without making contact - either with the tunnel walls or each other.

 

At a time of falling rail traffic and stringent cost-cutting National Express was doing rather well with its main coach routes into London Victoria coach station and had ensured the NBC subsidiaries which operated its contracts invested in a substantial fleet of double-decker MCW Metroliner coaches to shift ever-growing passenger numbers.  There were other types as well; the Van Hool Astromega and Neoplan Skyliner also appeared though neither was as tall and as wide at the roof-line as the Metroliner.

 

VCS was bursting at the seams and a second terminal was planned to relieve it.  At the time the DMU services into Marylebone were poorly patronised and the rolling stock old and failing.  The plan was to close the "London Extension" and have the station used as a coach terminal with access only via the tunnel, the trackbed and thence a connection directly onto the M1 near Staples Corner.  The Metropolitan would have served the Amersham route as it does now and a shuttle DMU or replacement bus run thence to Aylesbury.  The High Wycombe route was to be served from Paddington with the link from Princes Risborough - Aylesbury retained only if the Amersham shuttle was still a train.  Aylesbury was therefore in some danger of losing all rail services.

 

History shows that the coach "bubble" soon burst and the need for (as an example) two double-deckers and a single to work the last up Bournemouth - London trip on a Sunday evening due to very heavy bookings vanished.  Train services improved and have gone from strength to strength since.  

Edited by Gwiwer

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This then lends weight to the proposals made under the Thatcher government to convert the GC into a busway. A lot of us poo-poo'd the idea at the time because it's not possible to pass 2 buses in a railway tunnel, most of failing to realise there were that many tunnels to Marylebone. However, are there more tunnels on the other side of the WCML?

 

The GC was not connected at Marylebone to the Met or widened lines.

Aren't we saying here that at least one of the extra "tunnels" was simply portals with a few yards of tunnel leading to a dead end?

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The three tunnels under Lords are clearly shown on the map I linked to in post #9. But North from there it continues as a single tunnel. Two of the three tunnels contained only sidings. There is no tunnel behind the spare tunnel mouth at Canfield Place!

If you use the map selector, 2. in the left control box and switch to the 1895 version you can see the situation before the GC was built and it does show the location of the Met tunnel which is not shown on the later version I linked.

Regards

Keith

Edited by Grovenor

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Aren't we saying here that at least one of the extra "tunnels" was simply portals with a few yards of tunnel leading to a dead end?

 

Correct. The tunnels between Finchley and Lords only have one bore and there is no evidence of provision being made to widen the GC formation where it crosses the WCML

 

The apparent extra bore at Finchley (which only extends a few yards) plus the extra tunnels under Lords were constructed simply because the original engineers recognised it would be easier to build them at the outset rather than having to come back later. Similarly Rosesmore road bridge was built with enough width so as to allow for expansion of the terminus with no alteration - even the bridges in rural Buckinghamshire were built in such a way that the arches were wide enough (road overbridges) or the abutments (road underbridges) strong enough to simply have a couple of extra girders plonked on top of them.

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