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Trams through Birkenhead tunnel #1016199
4th Aug 2016 11:16pm
4th Aug 2016 11:16pm
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mikeeb Offline OP

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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."
[Linked Image]

Last edited by mikeeb; 4th Aug 2016 11:21pm.
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Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016239
5th Aug 2016 11:55am
5th Aug 2016 11:55am
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MikeT Offline
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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.

Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016248
5th Aug 2016 1:52pm
5th Aug 2016 1:52pm
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chriskay Offline
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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.
Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016255
5th Aug 2016 2:35pm
5th Aug 2016 2:35pm
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mikeeb Offline OP

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I cannot seem to find a definitive answer
Maybe it wasn't worth it financially, I just don't know

Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016256
5th Aug 2016 2:55pm
5th Aug 2016 2:55pm
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bert1 Offline

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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,


Attached Files
bus1.PNG (120 downloads)
bus2.PNG (119 downloads)

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Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.
Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016259
5th Aug 2016 3:11pm
5th Aug 2016 3:11pm
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mikeeb Offline OP

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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?

Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016261
5th Aug 2016 3:48pm
5th Aug 2016 3:48pm
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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.
Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: bert1] #1016268
5th Aug 2016 4:47pm
5th Aug 2016 4:47pm
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chriskay Offline
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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.
Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016269
5th Aug 2016 4:53pm
5th Aug 2016 4:53pm
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mikeeb Offline OP

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I suppose so, Wallasey and Bootle out of the running would just add more opposition

Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016274
5th Aug 2016 6:19pm
5th Aug 2016 6:19pm
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mikeeb Offline OP

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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


Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016300
6th Aug 2016 7:07am
6th Aug 2016 7:07am
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bert1 Offline

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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?

Attached Files
tunnel tiles.PNG (84 downloads)

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


Bertieone.
Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: bert1] #1016314
6th Aug 2016 9:22am
6th Aug 2016 9:22am
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chriskay Offline
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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.
Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016315
6th Aug 2016 9:35am
6th Aug 2016 9:35am
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mikeeb Offline OP

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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

Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: mikeeb] #1016317
6th Aug 2016 10:04am
6th Aug 2016 10:04am
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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.

Re: Trams through Birkenhead tunnel [Re: chriskay] #1016320
6th Aug 2016 12:30pm
6th Aug 2016 12:30pm
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bert1 Offline

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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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