Station 'Secrets'

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by BestWestern, 4 Nov 2011.

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  1. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    Hi All,

    A rather interesting revelation about Brighton station appears in Rail mag this month; that there is an active rifle range located beneath the platforms which is still used by Brighton Gun Club. Apparently, on the rare times when the station is quiet, passengers can hear the guns being fired! There are also apparently some long-disused lavatories and a hairdressing salon located somewhere behind the concourse, still equipped with their dusty fittings. Things like this tickle my fancy, I love the hidden history that lurks beneath so many of our old railway stations!

    Does anyone have any interesting revelations about other stations, there must be quite a few I would think? A little one to get started, apparently beneath Portsmouth and Southsea station remains some original cobbled street surface over which the station was built. This construction method might explain why the recently closed booking hall suffers from chronic damp to the point where the floors are supposedly thoroughly rotten.

    Any more bits of station trivia out there?! :D
     
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  3. driver9000

    driver9000 Established Member

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    There was a licenced bar under London Euston. A sign at the door stated that it was for the use of on duty BR staff only! It was called either The Phoenix or The Griffin, Fotopic had a photo of it.

    Manchester Victoria has a cab front of 142059 in the cavern benath the station.

    An enamel signs has survived hidden from view at Preston.

    There appears to be a subway at Bolton too. You can see the arch of it in the platform wall near to the end of the building on platform 4.

    Blackburn has a turntable well opposite platform 3.
     
  4. michael769

    michael769 Established Member

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  5. BestWestern

    BestWestern Established Member

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    That is very amusing, I can't imagine that provision being made today somehow!

    I've seen a photo of this mysterious Pacer cab, is it out of public reach or clearly visible? Any thoughts on how it ended up there?!
     
  6. driver9000

    driver9000 Established Member

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    The cab front is well hidden under the station. 142059 was the unit that ran into the buffers at Lime street, I'm not sure how it came to be under Victoria station. As far as I know its still there today.
     
  7. newbie babs

    newbie babs Member

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    Under Carlisle Railway station covering several acres is the Undercroft. Created in 1847 when the station was built on slum clearance land known as the Fever Pit, are many subterranean rooms, used for many things. Many people won't venture inside, probably because of the darkness and apparitions that have been reported. There have been reports of unexplained draughts and a feeling of being watched.

    paraffin lamp store, staff accommodation, a buffet room, and a butchers’ room, complete with wall hooks for hanging meat and blood drainage gullies are just some of the rooms.
     
  8. sbt

    sbt Member

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    Woking, Orpington and Redhill stations all have extant Bunkers.

    They are the Southern Railway Divisional Traffic Control Centres used during WWII and into the 1960s. They worked to a Regional Traffic Control Centre in tunnels away from the station in Dorking.

    IIRC there were also control trains to provide a backup and one was discovered to still exist, forgotten, at quite a late date.
     
  9. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    I can remember the old toilets at Brighton, maybe 5 / 6 years ago. The were horrid to say the least.

    The subway at Bolton closed with the 1980s station work. You can see it near p1 too.

     
  10. western Champion

    western Champion Member

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    The establishment you refer to was called "The Griffin" and yes you had to be on duty and in uniform to use it. It's days were numbered when drinking on duty ceased to be allowed from the very early nineties.
     
  11. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The old gents toilets at Hull, long disused, are said to be haunted. They are located underneath the platforms and are still in situ, but the stairs have been hidden from view.
     
  12. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    I second that. They were the worst toilets on the entire national network; access was via a very long, steep, narrow staircase and the place absolutely stank to high heaven. The cubicles had no doors either, so if you needed a poo there you had no choice but to be fully visible to all and sundry!
     
  13. Rugd1022

    Rugd1022 Member

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    Spent many an hour in there as a young and very green secondman at Stonebridge Park, it always seemed packed to the rafters when I went in, with numerous card schools in progress at all hours.

    I've heard that beneath Bristol Temple Meads there's a store room filled with the original GWR wooden signage and the later BR WR enamel types, all gethering dust.... must be a real treasure trove that, if it's all still there ;)
     
  14. Mcr Warrior

    Mcr Warrior Member

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    :!: Here's a pic of the cab front under Manchester Victoria station.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    There is a night club directly beneath platforms 1 & 2 at Birmingham Snow Hill.
     
  16. Matt Taylor

    Matt Taylor Established Member

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    Waterloo is another station that used to have a licensed bar under the platforms, for on duty staff only!
     
  17. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    Maybe not quite what you where looking for, but The Clash played a gig in Nottingham station once.

    Also cresswell or whitwell on the robin hood line, has the old station building hidden behind a concrete wall. (and the other has an old engine, like the one over platfrom 3 at woodhouse, shed that has a substantial chunk of wall missing in the corner)
     
  18. western Champion

    western Champion Member

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    Might help explain why there has only ever been one BR(W) BTM Totem come to the market. It made £5500
     
  19. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    Quite, I think they were between the current booking hall and western end wall opposite the buffers, but I would have to check to be sure. It was like descending into Hell, as I recall there was one light in the block, which was 100% underground. You couldn't five foot in front of you in places, and toilet doors just lay on the floor. I think they may have been behind the shutter on the left of this picture: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/sjp/BTN/images/photos/800/o1360-0000037.jpg...

    Creswell has the old station building behind the wall. Neither of the stations you mentioned, or indeed anywhere else on the line, have a trainshed like Mansfield Woodhouse does.
     
  20. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    There is a large area under Temple Meads station, including where the trams used to go in. I've had the opportunity for a number of visits down there yet unfortunately always been unable to attend for one reason or other.

    I'm sure there are photos online somewhere.
     
  21. Brucey

    Brucey Member

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    I remember being taken through some tunnel accessible from the subway on my way to a rail replacement bus in 2008. I was informed by a member of staff that there were other tunnels and free tours are usually available on Bristol Open Doors Day (which happens in Septemeber every year).
     
  22. Yew

    Yew Established Member

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    The trainshed might be a bit further from the station than I remembered, it has a big section of wall missing and might not even have track. I'll keep an eye out for it when I'm next over there
     
  23. Rugd1022

    Rugd1022 Member

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    Exectly.... my scourse told me he was taken down below about five or six years ago by a FGW employee for a very brief look, the BR brown and cream enamel signage was what really caught his eye and knowing that I collect it he made a point of telling me. He did a quick visual tot up while he was down there and reckoned all of the 'hanging' signs for the platforms were present, including the totems of course.
     
  24. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    Which one's that? Subway City, the one I occasionally frequent, is contained in one of the railway arches of the Snow Hill viaduct, but is located beyond the platform ends, more beneath the approach roads to the stabling sidings. I don't know of another one closer to the city centre.

    When I've had an occasional spare moment, I've attempted to fathom out exactly how the night club (with its' various different rooms) is accomodated within the arch. I still can't work it out; you would never be able to tell its' unusual quarters of residence from looking at the inside alone.
     
  25. RPM

    RPM Established Member

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    There is a disused passageway beneath the concourse at Marylebone running west. It once formed part of the Underground station and led to an entrance on Harewood Avenue. A picture of it taken by one of m'learned colleagues can be seen here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36593372@N04/4717551679/
     
  26. Minilad

    Minilad Established Member

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    There is a tunnel from Birmingham New Street direct to the old Royal Mail sorting office (Now The Mailbox)
    It leads from the tunnel at the B end of the platforms and the entrance can still be seen, although boarded up.

    Anyone remember the underground toilets and barber shop at Manchester Piccadilly ?
     
  27. snail

    snail Established Member

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    I do, they were roughly where the Virgin info desk is now. Not a great loss, though you didn't have to pay 30p in those days.
     
  28. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    Ah, I was referring to Subway City. I always thought it was underneath the platforms, it is certainly very very close and part of the Snow Hill station structure.

    There is a very similar situation at Moor Street station, with a club being part of the arches on Meriden Street, which is directly beneath the sidings at Moor Street.
     
  29. twoag

    twoag Member

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    Interesting tour when it comes up...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/steve_edgeworth/279342770/
     
  30. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Yes, that shutter is the way down to the old toilets - and the shutter is decptively wide as it extends across the wall beyond the stairwell limit at each end. From memory the top of the stairs narrowed inwards with a curved corner to the wall and the staircase is also split with a central handrail; there is also a 90° turn to the left near the bottom.
     
  31. 12CSVT

    12CSVT Established Member

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    Carlisle station is also home to two model railway societies, one of which is in the Undercroft
     
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