Happy East London Line Day!

Photograph of the Thames Tunnel

Inside the Thames Tunnel as it is now

What is your favourite train-related fact?

For us, it has to be that the Thames Tunnel is the oldest structure on the oldest underground network in the world!

Originally built for horses and carts, it was opened as a foot tunnel and tourist attraction in 1843. By the end of the 1860s it had been converted for trains, and steam trains ran through it into the 1940s when it was converted to electricity. Today is the anniversary of the completion of the last major overhaul.

Ten years ago today the East London Line re-opened to trains, now as part of the Overground network. As well as upgrading the electrics etc. for the new trains, TFL built a concrete plug into the Rotherhithe Shaft of the Thames Tunnel, allowing people to enjoy the Shaft / Grand Entrance Chamber for the first time in around 150 years. Since then the museum has been giving tours and talks in this inspiring space, as well as helping all sorts of people set up the venue for their own events. The shaft has, as well as going back being a tourist attraction, seen many different uses over these last 10 years. Everything from fashion shows, to book launches, to cabaret/theatre, to weddings! Once we reopen our doors, we look forward to it seeing many more.

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