Kingsway Tram Tunnel to Begin Public Tours in August

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Rarely open to the public since it closed in 1952, there will be tours of the Kingsway tram underground in Holborn this summer.

The Underground is one of those hidden parts of London’s disused transport network, as the slope down to the tunnel is easily visible from Southampton Row north of Holborn.

From there it descends to the tunnel, which once included a dedicated tram stop next to Holborn Underground Station, and then to the Embankment where it arose under Waterloo Bridge.

Holborn Tram Station (c) LT Museum

Completed in 1908, the streetcar was large enough to accommodate single-height streetcars, but the subsequent demand for double-decker streetcars meant that the tunnels had to be significantly altered in 1929.

Very popular initially, trams were replaced by buses and cars, and the last trams in London operated on July 5, 1952, 69 years ago.

After the closure, the Kingsway Underground was used to store streetcars for a time, then in 1958 the south end was converted into a road tunnel, and part for flood defense controls. The rest of the tram remained there intact, except by film crews, artists or for council storage.

In recent years, Crossrail has been a very convenient site to use for access, as the future Elizabeth Line tunnels pass nearby. It was brought back to its pre-Crossrail state in 2018 and has remained empty since then.

Crossing work in 2012

From now on, the London Transport Museum will begin tours of the tunnels.

The tunnel is high, long and straight, with the original cobblestones and tracks intact. While most of the ‘station heritage’ comes from modern film sets, as a place to visit, it’s pretty high on the to-do list for most people who have read this. topic – if only because it is so rarely opened. It’s also unlike any of the other Hidden London tours as unlike tube stations the tram tunnels are huge to accommodate double-decker trams so it’s a whole different experience.

ianVisits in 2012

Tours last around an hour and cost £ 46.50 per person. Tickets go on sale Friday July 9 from here, or if you sign up for their newsletter, you can get early bird tickets starting Thursday.

In addition to the visit, the ticket price includes:

  • Half-day admission to the London Transport Museum for a day within one month of the date of your visit. No need to pre-book, just come to the Museum during normal opening hours with proof of your visit ticket.
  • 10% discount on all Hidden London inspired products in their store (online and in store), within one month of your visit.

A range of other Hidden London tours will also go on sale Friday – details here.


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