The Anonymous Widower

London’s Other New, But Forgotten Rail Tunnels

Crossrail with its fifteen billion pound budget gets all of the attention, but it could be argued that two much smaller tunnels outside Kings Cross and St. Pancras will have a significant effect on several million people. And not just those living in London.

This extract from an article in Rail Engineer describes the Canal Tunnels.

Each tunnel was constructed with a six metre diameter bore and fitted with a pre-cast concrete lining, and they are both more than 660 metres in length. At the King’s Cross end there is a 100 metre cut-and-cover concrete box which leads up to an open area which, in total, forms a 1km length of new twin track railway.

Despite their significance to the Thameslink programme, they don’t have a Wikipedia article.

They may be much shorter than those of Crossrail, but they are the way that trains passing through the Thameslink core go up the East Coast Main Line. Thus they help to add a hundred new stations to Thameslink and allow 24 trains an hour to pass in both directions through London.

I took this picture of the tunnel entrance from a local train between Kings Cross and Finsbury Park.

The Canal Tunnel Entrances At Kings Cross

I also obtained this image of the area from Google Maps

Kings Cross From Above

Kings Cross From Above

Three existing main railway lines are shown in the picture.

  1. The multi-track railway down the right of the picture is the East Coast Main Line.
  2. The railway from top-right to bottom-left is High Speed One. Note the tube that the line runs in to cut noise at the right hand side.
  3. Above this line runs the North London Line.

The Canal Tunnels can be seen in the angle of the East Coast Main Line and High Speed One, with the dark shadow showing the cut-and-cover concrete box entrance. These pictures are obviously some weeks old, as no track has been laid yet, unlike in my picture.

I do wonder if the public might be given a chance to walk through these tunnels before they are opened.

At present all you can do is catvh a glimpse from trains running into or out of Kings Cross or St. Pancras.

August 13, 2014 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. […] Source: London’s Other New, But Forgotten Rail Tunnels […]

    Pingback by London's Other New, But Forgotten Rail Tunnels | August 14, 2014 | Reply

  2. […] was with the Canal Tunnels, which will connect Thameslink to the East Coast Main Line, and which I photographed in this post. He said that the problem was in that […]

    Pingback by The Problems At Kings Cross « The Anonymous Widower | December 27, 2014 | Reply

  3. […] these pictures with the one in this post taken in […]

    Pingback by The Site Of The Kings Cross Problems « The Anonymous Widower | December 31, 2014 | Reply

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