Crossrail brings old tunnel back to life

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be taken down the Connaught Tunnel in East London.

It is a 600m 'cut and cover' tunnel that's now disused.

It was built in 1878 to transport, among other things, passengers and goods from the nearby docks and it became known as the North Woolwich line.

Now it's going to be brought back to life as part of the Crossrail project.

They call it "renovate and reuse" and it will cost £50m to get the tunnel into a fit state so that tracks and the electricity supply can be put in.

They think it is cheaper than tunnelling underneath.

The engineers are extremely excited and nervous about what they'll find when soil excavations begin and they are eager to preserve the transport heritage of the capital.

In the video above you can watch my TV report, brilliantly shot by cameraman Ian Paice, in which I talk to Linda Miller of Crossrail about the Connaught Tunnel and their plans for it.

PS. My old stomping ground, the Mind the Gap blog, was closed today. Steve Phillips had the honour of writing the final post.