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Abandoned tunnel on northern city line


russ p
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  • RMweb Gold

I've noticed when travelling on the northbound northern city line before Drayton park there is an abandoned tunnel to the east,is this simply a connection to the southbound tunnel or does it go somewhere else?

I don't use the southbound tunnel so can't work it out for myself

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  • RMweb Gold

There seems to also be some sort of connection which curves to join the London Overground lines just east of Highbury and Islington. Looking at an aerial view it isn't clear how much of this curve is above and below ground.

That's Canbonbury tunnel which also comes from Finsbury park but is about thirty feet higher than the northern city branch at that point

When I travel over the northern city line I return with a class 90 and Mk3 set via this route to Liverpool street

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G'Day Gents

 

Canonbury Tunnel was/is a vital bit of railway, it connect the Ex GN lines to the North London line and to the GE lines, nearly all of the GN freight liners in the early 70's used it to access, Stratford, Willesden and points east and west, and as you say, Dmu's and loco stock reached Broad St,  a lot of the Goods traffic out of Kings Cross goods yard used it to get to Temple Mills/Stratford and Ripple Lane.

Empty DMU's used it to go to Stratford for tire turning, from Western sidings, light engine movements between Finsbury Pk and Stratford, so in the early 70's a very busy bit of track, although now I believe it's now single track.

 

manna

 

PS, I've even shunted in Canonbury tunnel, turned up there one day with a train of 22 car flats to be shunted into East goods yard (lower level) near Highbury yard (next to Arsenal's old ground) we had to go half way through the tunnel to clear the points before we could shunt back.

Edited by manna
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  • RMweb Gold

But electrified (which was what caused the reduction to single track so it could be slewed to the centre of the formation to make space for the wires).

Its a strange tunnel the track is still to the west of the bore ,its quite a large tunnel and I think it has masts rather than the wires suspended from the roof,there is a full size free standing signal in it where I sometimes sit for over half an hour.

There are also illuminated parts for non gangwayed units to change ends which apparently happens regularly.

I think it was singled when the north London was electrified as the AC lines were only single on that.

I'm on the job today so will check to see if it has masts

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  • RMweb Gold

Had a look about half an hour ago it doesn't have masts but has basically the top section of a mast suspended from the roof of the tunnel down the central section.

Not sure why it doesn't have the normal tunnel arrangement, there does seem to be adequate room for a second electrified track if it were ever needed.

The approach from Finsbury park is like one of those layouts you think would never be like that in real life

The northern city is about thirty feet bellow and runs into a tunnel which is in the right hand side of the connonbury lines cutting then that line goes into cannonbury tunnel which I assume is cut and cover as there is very little earth above it

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  • RMweb Gold

Just did a search on canonbury tunnel a few sources say double track OLE could not be installed, interesting as the tunnel seems quite large I can only assume it has something to do with the rather tight curve it has at the southern end

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I apologise for responding late, thanks to troubled world of work.

There was an opportunity last week for me to detour and ride from Highbury to Drayton Park and back.  Not much is visible from the saloon, of course, but I confirm the abandoned junction tunnel, at quite a shallow angle trailing into the Northbound running tunnel.  I estimate it's about 2-3 train lengths south of Drayton Park.  Riding southbound, there's not much to see, maybe a trace of a cross-passage at about the same distance from DP, but wouldn't be confident of this.

Already mentioned is the crossover directly south of Drayton Park, in the brick arch section between Drayton Park's platforms.and the southbound bores.  I've checked with some original construction drawings and a later layout drawing, and this particular crossover site is part of the original line design.

I think I have the explanation for the small piece of junction tunnel, but I need a bit more time to track down some drawings to confirm - bear with me.

Meanwhile, at Drayton Park I seized the opportunity for a swift but low-quality picture over the wall alongside the station, happily including a train, the one I arrived on, which awaited assisted despatch.  The greenery is the former Drayton Park depot, much changed from my sole visit just a few weeks before LT operation ended.

post-1311-0-54923900-1524906044_thumb.jpg
 

Edited by Engineer_London
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I would think that the abandoned tunnel is a leftover from when the Victoria Line was built. To allow cross platform interchange at Highbury & Islington between the Northern & City and Victoria lines, new link tunnels had to be built. Southbound Victoria line trains would use the old northbound Northern & City platform and northbound Northern & City trains would have a new platform together with a new northbound Victoria line platform. The abandoned tunnel would be the original Northern & City line northbound tunnel where it joined the link line from the new platform.

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