ghost tube line?

Join in these discussions today! Log in or register.
Monday 4 October 2004 11.59am
Heated debate going on here at the moment...any one have any knowledge of a tube line somewhere dulwich/sydenham that was abandoned in the nineteenth century? possibly a train that would have been screw propelled ( archimedes?) or summick? a large alcoholic drink for me rests on this.....'cos i thought there woz.....:-)
Monday 4 October 2004 12.05pm
Try - don't know if it mentions a whole line, but it has all the abandoned tube stations supposedly.
Monday 4 October 2004 12.08pm
Is this what you're asking about? Link below is to a transcript of a Radio 4 piece in 2001

The Crystal Palace atmospheric railway

"The Crystal Palace atmospheric or pneumatic railway was built in 1864 at the lower end of the Crystal Palace Park, and was working for a matter of months. It ran for about 600 yards in a 10-ft diameter brick tunnel between the Sydenham and Penge gates to the Park. The tunnel had a gradient of one in 15 and the railway went round in a sharp curve. It had a coach which could seat 35, and a sliding door at each end. There was a remote steam engine coupled to a fan. The railway had a collar of bristles which made it airtight and enabled the coach to be sucked along - at a speed of probably 25 mph. The trip apparently cost sixpence. The engineer was Thomas Webster Rammell, a man behind other pneumatic railway experiments in London. In fact his serious purpose was to design a pneumatic railway to go from Waterloo to Whitehall under the Thames. "

weird but wonderful....

Monday 4 October 2004 12.08pm
That almost sounds like the atmospheric railway. It went to Forest Hill I think but wasn't underground. It was however, propelled by pneumatics and was abandoned after rats ate the leather seals on the pipe.

This is all very sketchy in my head though so I'm happy to be corrected.
Monday 4 October 2004 12.24pm
Ha! Beat me to it (and with less sketchy details too!).
Monday 4 October 2004 12.37pm
the speed of Google... sorry! you get the moral victory for having it in your head, sketchy or not :-)


Edited 1 times. Last edit at 4 October 2004 12.37pm by markandjoan.
Monday 4 October 2004 12.42pm

The Crystal Palace pneumatic railway demonstration
(linked from

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 4 October 2004 12.43pm by markandjoan.
Monday 4 October 2004 1.04pm
I'm more than happy to be proved almost right! thank you all so much.....dunno where the image of a gigantic screw appeared in me 'ead though...:-)
Thursday 7 October 2004 3.35pm
WOW! That sounds great. Can we build a new one (for carrying cider from Surrey Quays to SE1)?


...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 14 October 2004 11.57am
There was a ghost tube line under SE1, although a lot of it was capped off when the Jubilee line was being constructed.

It is part of the former City and South London Subway (later Railway), most of which was later incorporated into the Northern Line. IIRC the tunnels ran from about 300 yards north of Borough station under the Thames to the former terminus at King William Street.

To post a message, please log in or register..

Keep up with SE1 news

We have three email newsletters for you to choose from:

Proud to belong to

Independent Community News Network