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#1016199 - 5th Aug 2016 12:16am Trams through Birkenhead tunnel
mikeeb Offline

Wise One

Registered: 8th Oct 2013
Posts: 795
Loc: birkenhead
Why was it actually abandoned?
The tunnel was designed for tram use
Birkenhead was against it because of the ferry but that doesn't make sense. Did Birkenhead control the ferry?
They controlled a lot of trams so would have benefited
I know Wallasey, Bootle and the trains were not happy but who actually put the spanner in the works?

"As you can see, the Tunnel is circular. The roadway occupies the top half. The bottom was intended to be for a train or electric tramway, but that never happened."


Edited by mikeeb (5th Aug 2016 12:21am)

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#1016239 - 5th Aug 2016 12:55pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
MikeT Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 23rd Apr 2010
Posts: 551
Loc: Canary Islands :)
I've been in the bit under the roadway (the bottom half). It's full of pipes and wires but could be turned into a second deck or a railway line.

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#1016248 - 5th Aug 2016 2:52pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: mikeeb
Why was it actually abandoned?
The tunnel was designed for tram use
Birkenhead was against it because of the ferry but that doesn't make sense. Did Birkenhead control the ferry?
They controlled a lot of trams so would have benefited
I know Wallasey, Bootle and the trains were not happy but who actually put the spanner in the works?


I don't know why the trams never ran: possibly Liverpool and Birkenhead couldn't reach agreement.
The ferry was always the Birkenhead ferry, from when the initial charter was granted to the priory by Edward 3rd. in 1330. The ferry was eventually taken over by Birkenhead Corporation in 1858.
_________________________
Carpe diem.

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#1016255 - 5th Aug 2016 3:35pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
mikeeb Offline

Wise One

Registered: 8th Oct 2013
Posts: 795
Loc: birkenhead
I cannot seem to find a definitive answer
Maybe it wasn't worth it financially, I just don't know

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#1016256 - 5th Aug 2016 3:55pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7876
Loc: tranmere
There's no mention of tramcars running or intending to run through the Queensway tunnel in any of the papers I am able to search, however there's plenty on Motor Buses providing the service, of course with the usual objections,

Snippet from 1939,


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
bus1.PNG

bus2.PNG


_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#1016259 - 5th Aug 2016 4:11pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
mikeeb Offline

Wise One

Registered: 8th Oct 2013
Posts: 795
Loc: birkenhead
Hmmm, Birkenhead were objecting to buses as well
Nice find Bert
From what I read they were still disputing the tram issue whilst it was getting built, but just continued building it that way because they had already started
You would think company's on both sides of the river would have been all over any new venture.
were they more tightly regulated back then?

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#1016261 - 5th Aug 2016 4:48pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7876
Loc: tranmere
Regardless of whatever the regulations were back then, any form of public transport travelling through the tunnel would have raised objections from the ferries and the railways.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#1016268 - 5th Aug 2016 5:47pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: bert1]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
The original plan was to have trams. Quote from "The Story of the Mersey Tunnel, officially named Queensway"

"In this, the original scheme, through tram services between Liverpool and Cheshire boroughs were a prominent feature. It was for that reason that the great diameter of 44 ft. was provided for throughout, except in the branches, a diameter sufficient for four lanes of traffic on the upper deck and two sets of tram rails on the lower".

The tram plan seems to have been abandoned at the same time as the Wallasey and Bootle tunnels were. there is a vague reference to "Birkenhead's opposition to trams" but I cant find any reason for that, although it could have been because of the effect on the Birkenhead owned ferry.

_________________________
Carpe diem.

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#1016269 - 5th Aug 2016 5:53pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
mikeeb Offline

Wise One

Registered: 8th Oct 2013
Posts: 795
Loc: birkenhead
I suppose so, Wallasey and Bootle out of the running would just add more opposition

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#1016274 - 5th Aug 2016 7:19pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
mikeeb Offline

Wise One

Registered: 8th Oct 2013
Posts: 795
Loc: birkenhead
Here it is
I have read through the article again here

"One was opposition from Birkenhead who wanted to protect their Ferries, another was that the government had said that they would reduce their contribution if a tramway was laid. The Tunnel would however still be excavated and built for most of it's length with a massive space under the roadway designed for the Tramway."

So it was down to money. When isn't it? grin

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#1016300 - 6th Aug 2016 8:07am Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7876
Loc: tranmere
Came across this 1933 report,

Did they cover the road surface with these tiles and how long was it before they recovered with an alternative surface?


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
tunnel tiles.PNG


_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#1016314 - 6th Aug 2016 10:22am Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: bert1]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Yes, the cast iron tiles were about a foot square with a studded surface and they were set in a bitumen compound. I don't know when they were tarmac'd over. There's a good picture of them being laid in the book "The Story of the Mersey Tunnel, officially named Queensway". You used to be able to buy this book for 5 at the tunnel HQ. It's a facsimile reprint of the original which was published for the opening in 1934. It's the most comprehensive book on the tunnel that I know.
_________________________
Carpe diem.

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#1016315 - 6th Aug 2016 10:35am Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
mikeeb Offline

Wise One

Registered: 8th Oct 2013
Posts: 795
Loc: birkenhead
It would seem that it was an experiment and only used in sections
1935 communication
" 25. Captain STRICKLAND
asked the Minister of Transport whether he has received any reports on the success or otherwise of the experimental iron roads, particularly with regard to the safe use of them by solo motor cyclists?


The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Hore-Belisha)

The reports which I have received on the experimental lengths of iron paving laid in different localities indicate that the material is generally satisfactory, but I shall be very pleased to receive any reports from motor cyclists, who have not made any special representations to me, or, indeed, from any other road users.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1935/jul/03/experimental-iron-paving

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#1016317 - 6th Aug 2016 11:04am Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb]
Excoriator Offline
Wise One

Registered: 21st Jan 2010
Posts: 849
Loc: wirral
I guess this space is now stuffed with pipes and cables and no longer usable for transport.

I always thought travellators would be a good way of putting it to use. Expensive perhaps, but think of the advertising space it would provide. I'm sure that would pull in a good income. They seem slow, but gain by the fact that you don't have to wait for the next tram/bus/ train so they end up being a surprisingly good way of moving large numbers of people quickly.

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#1016320 - 6th Aug 2016 1:30pm Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: chriskay]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7876
Loc: tranmere
Originally Posted By: chriskay
Yes, the cast iron tiles were about a foot square with a studded surface and they were set in a bitumen compound. I don't know when they were tarmac'd over. There's a good picture of them being laid in the book "The Story of the Mersey Tunnel, officially named Queensway". You used to be able to buy this book for 5 at the tunnel HQ. It's a facsimile reprint of the original which was published for the opening in 1934. It's the most comprehensive book on the tunnel that I know.


Thanks Chris.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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