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#241863 - 5th Jul 2008 8:39pm Tranmere Tunnels - Inside the Shaft *****
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
OK, tired of waiting; time for action.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
2 sm.jpg

Description: Pinzgauer briefs the crew

1 sm.jpg

Description: Start excavating

3 sm.jpg

Description: Now be careful

4 sm.jpg

Description: The concrete cap broken up

5 sm.jpg

Description: One of the walls exposed

6 sm.jpg

Description: BREAKTHROUGH

7 sm.jpg

Description: Measuring the depth

8 sm.jpg

Description: 6.5 metres to the first landing

9 sm.jpg

Description: A job well done


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#241870 - 5th Jul 2008 9:04pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: chriskay]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Now the full story. On Friday I went up to Birkenhead & met Pinzgauer & his mine exploring mate Graham. After looking at various sites in Liverpool & resolving some questions about Green Lane station, we were headed for Woodside. Pinzgauer decided it would be fun to drive up the steepest street in Birkenhead; Holborn Hill. As we reached the top, we saw some new building at the end of the alleyway leading to Thompson St. this, of course, is where one of the ventilation/access shafts to the tunnels was. We parked up & wandered over. As we were surveying the site of the shaft, we saw that they were digging a trench for sewers on the line of the shaft & that a very thick reinforced concrete slab had been broken up, which we knew must be the capping of the shaft. As we were looking, one of the guys came over to the fence & asked us why we seemed so interested. We told him about the shaft & warned him about a possible collapse. He let us inside the fence & we described what we knew. He was as interested as we were & didn't take much persuading to dig some more. As the pictures in my previous post show, we succeeded in opening it up. All this was pure luck; if we hadn't decided to drive up Holborn Hill, or if we had been a day earlier or later, we would have missed this opportunity.

As far as technical details are concerned, the shaft would have been the same as at Bidston. It measured 6 feet square internally & the walls were about 13 inches thick. There's a picture of a similar one in my earlier thread. Pinzgauer, who had explored the tunnels as a child, can't remember whether there were 3 or 4 landings, but each was about 6.5 metres, so the total depth would be 19.5 or 26 metres.
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#241921 - 6th Jul 2008 12:45pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: chriskay]
BMW Joe Offline
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Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
Well done Chris & Pinzgauer.

Good of the builders to let you in, dig a bit further and help take measurements thumbsup

Were you not tempted to drop a camera down and try and get some inside pictures?

Very lucky with the opportunity.

I'm curious as to what questions you resolved about Green Lane station too?
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#241932 - 6th Jul 2008 2:39pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: BMW Joe]
jonno40 Online   content
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Registered: 7th Jan 2008
Posts: 1235
Loc: wirral
excellent stuff guys,what a stroke of luck thumbsup
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#241940 - 6th Jul 2008 3:11pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: BMW Joe]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: BMW Joe


I'm curious as to what questions you resolved about Green Lane station too?


Joe; just updated the Green Lane thread in the History forum & no, there's no way I was going to risk my camera by dropping it into that hole frown
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#241974 - 6th Jul 2008 6:26pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: chriskay]
Mark Offline


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21086
Loc: Wirral
Wow thanks for sharing Kris,

What a stroke of luck, of all the days and the people to
be passing the Tranmere Tunnels with.
What a stroke of Luck.

Great Pictures there Kris.
They look in very good nick from those pictures.

Huge Thanks for Sharing the pictures and the moment Kris.
You lucky Sods smile
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#241992 - 6th Jul 2008 8:07pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: Mark]
Waddi Offline

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Registered: 11th Jul 2004
Posts: 4006
Loc: New Ferry
ooooooooooooooooooo, exciting stuff, lets go in.....
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#241994 - 6th Jul 2008 8:25pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: Waddi]
jonno40 Online   content
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Registered: 7th Jan 2008
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Excellent Chris smile
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#242009 - 6th Jul 2008 10:13pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: jonno40]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Thanks, Jonno.
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#242141 - 8th Jul 2008 4:28pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: chriskay]
chriskay Offline
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Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Well, I was back there again yesterday & today. The shaft has now been opened up completely. They wouldn't let me down because their Health & Safety guy was on site, but I managed to get a pic. This shaft only goes down 21 Ft. & the base is solid sandstone. At the bottom, from the corner nearest the alley & on the Holborn Hill side, a passage goes towards the different concrete in the alley (shown on page 3 in a post by Waddi, where he pinched my pictures) wink This is the bottom right corner in the pic. From there, the shaft goes down to the bottom, via 3 or 4 landings. The theory is that the shaft was sunk from the alley (which is where I remember a building) & then the lateral tunnel & the shaft we can now see were built. This is where Pinzgauer remembers it. When I remember it, they were still constructing, because I remember hearing explosions. When it was completed, they capped the shaft in the alley, to restore the full width.
My contact wasn't there today, but he's promised to get some pics for me. One of his mates said that after I'd left yesterday, he went down all the way to the bottom. This was perhaps not as risky as it seems, since from the first breakthrough on Friday, we could detect a draught, so I guess there must be air bricks at Holborn Square. Rather him than me though.
I'm attaching some plans; the one I've written on shows the arrangement. The others are some old plans which I couldn't make sense of before, but now I think it shows the passage dotted.
If my contact sends me any pics, I'll post them here.

Cheers, Chris.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
21' deep shaft sm.jpg

shaft plan sm.jpg

plan sm.jpg

plan close up sm.jpg


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#242165 - 8th Jul 2008 8:46pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: chriskay]
Waddi Offline

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Registered: 11th Jul 2004
Posts: 4006
Loc: New Ferry
is there any chance of us mere mortals getting a looksie down the shaft, this could be our 1 and only chance of getting in this tunnels.
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#242176 - 8th Jul 2008 9:54pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: Waddi]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
There is a chance; depends on who's around. I had hoped to get down today. Because I live so far away, I won't be coming up again, but if one or two of you were to wander up & show interest, you never know. It's not just a matter of climbing down the ladder, which stops about 5 feet from the top, so you have to get them to put another ladder there. If you printed off my latest photo & waved it, it might help.

Please heed Pinzgauer's warning about bad air. Even though my contact has been in, I wouldn't risk it.

Good luck. Chris.
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#242202 - 9th Jul 2008 12:01am Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: chriskay]
MattLFC Offline
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Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Anyone up for popping along tomorrow? I may well be...

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#242262 - 9th Jul 2008 10:03am Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: MattLFC]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Good luck, Matt. The workmen there all seem pretty friendly.
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#242297 - 9th Jul 2008 4:22pm Re: Tranmere Tunnels - info [Re: chriskay]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Browsing in the reference library the other day, I came across some newspaper articles about the tunnels; a couple about children playing in there (tut tut Pinzgauer).


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
tunnels 1.JPG

tunnels 3.JPG

tunnels 2.JPG


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