Tag Archives: Thames Tunnel

Walking The 8th Wonder of the World: Thames Tunnel Pictures

24 - Thames Tunnel Entrance
Tunnel entrance from Wapping

This past bank holiday weekend, I and thousands of other Londoners got a rare opportunity to visit the 8th Wonder of the World: the Brunels' Thames Tunnel.

Started by Marc Isambard Brunel and completed by his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the tunnel finally opened in 1843 after nearly 20 years of work. On top of being the first tunnel under a navigable river, it was also the first underwater shopping arcade and underwater dining hall. And it remains the oldest part of TFL's infrastructure.

50,000 people are supposed to have walked through the tunnel on opening day in 1843. However, these days it's a bit more difficult to get access, as it now forms an integral part of the Overground network. Fortunately, a confluence of engineering works allowed myself and others a rare walk through.

This was an extra treat as I've previously walked the East London Line above ground and it's the first time while walking the Underground/Overground that I've actually been able walk directly between two stations along the track. You have no idea how times people have asked me if that was how I was doing my walks.

Here are just a few of my photos:

07 - Rotherhithe Platforms
Rotherhithe Station from track level

11 - Original Arch Thames Tunnel
One of the original arches

12 - Ghost in Thames Tunnel
Possible ghost sighting

13 - Original Arch Thames Tunnel
Old arch next to the preserved one

14 - Walking in the Thames Tunnel
Gives you an idea on the height of the Tunnel

17 - Thames Tunnel
Clear view down the tunnel

18 - East London Railway Marker
This used to be part of London Underground's East London Line

20 - Thames Tunnel
Looking down the tunnel from Wapping

25 - Wapping Station
Wapping Station from track level

28 - Warning in Thames Tunnel
The irony is this sign can only be read when on the tracks

29 - Red Signal in Thames Tunnel
Just to be sure, the red signal was still turned on

30 - Surprise in Thames Tunnel
Surprise!

31 - 33,000 volts
Very glad the power was switched off

33 - Middle of Thames Tunnel
Roughly the middle of the tunnel

35 - 300m
Rotherhithe, that way

36 - Preserved arches in Thames Tunnel
There are a lot of arches

37 - Old and New archs in Thames Tunnel
Original section next to a preserved one

43 - Pumping Equipment in Thames Tunnel
If this pumping equipment wasn't there, the station would quickly fill with water

47 - Rotherhithe Station from track level
A different view of a landing at Rotherhithe Station

49 - Water channel in Thames Tunnel
Just some of the water that has to be constantly pumped from the tunnel

53 - No service
Seems a little unnecessary to state this

54 - Thames Tunnel plaque
Thames Tunnel Plaque

56 - Original Thames Tunnel shaft
Original shaft down to the tunnel

57 - Original Thames Tunnel shaft
You can clearly see where the spiral staircases used to be

58 - Thames Tunnel door to shaft
Just be advised that the entrance to the original lift shaft is not for the claustrophobic

Learn more about the Thames Tunnel:

The Brunels' Tunnel
King of the Underworld: Building The Thames Tunnel
Brunel Museum: History of the Thames Tunnel
Thames Tunnel on Wikipedia

More pictures of this past weekend's visit from other blogs:

BBC - Thames Tunnel: Rare access to 'eighth wonder of world'
Do Not Alight Here: Thames Tunnel Visit
Walking through a Tunnel under the Thames — Part 2
London Reconnections: In Pictures: The Thames Tunnel