Things to come on Frederic Delaitre's Railway Pages
You will find below a list of Lost Subways and Forgotten Tunnels I am currently working on.
Any additional information and pictures on these will be greatly appreciated and duly acknowledged. Also, if you know some other places, please keep me informed of your research using
my Contact Page.
Thanks to all for your support to this site. -FD.
Rochester, (NY). USA.
Informations kindly transmitted by
"The City of Rochester was once the smallest city in the United States
with a grade separated rapid transit system,
the Rochester Rapid Transit and Industrial Railroad (Subway). The Subway
utilized the abandoned right-of-way of the
former Erie Canal. Subway service commenced on December 1, 1927 and
continued until June 30, 1956.
The City of
Rochester because of declining patronage abandoned the Subway. Segments
of the abandoned rail transit
right-of-way were then utilized by the City and NYSDOT to construct
portions of I - 490 on the City's southeast side.
However, the Downtown subway tunnel was never completely abandoned and
continued in use for delivery of
newsprint by freight trains to a Downtown newspaper publishing plant
See also Tom Mayo's exploration of the tunnels on 05/22/98 at:
Photo from T. Mayo's Web Site - used w/o permission...
Cincinnati (OH), USA.
Many informations to compile from various contributors including
John W. Thomas of Oklahoma City and David H. Fritze: a pre-World War II stillborn attempt to provide the Queen City with a rapid transit subway.
Tunnel entrance to Cincinnati subway - Photo from Phil O'Keefe collection.
See also David H. Fritze's study on the history of the project.
Unfinished station of the Cincinnati subway - Photo from David H. Fritze's site.
and the site of Jake Meklenborg with nice colour pictures of the inside of the tunnels:
Brighton station of the Cincinnati subway - Photo from Jake Meklenborg's site.
Note: Cincinnati was famous also for its inclines. Well, this belongs to the "Strange Railway" section. Maybe later...
Pacific Electric Tunnel, Los Angeles (CA), USA.
Information kindly transmitted by Phil O'Keefe:
"It was built by the Pacific Electric interurban, I think, around 1925 to eliminate street
running in downtown Los Angeles. The subway was abandoned sometime in the late
1950's when the PE started falling apart. The other end of the subway
terminated under a tall building downtown.
As far as I know, the subway still exists today, and the portal is still open.
It was used in a made-for-TV movie called "V", which was a science fiction story that was a parody on
the Nazi take over of Europe. Humans formed an "underground resistance" movement against the
aliens who were trying to enslave the human race. The humans' headquarters
was in this tunnel.
I also saw the tunnel in a documentary about Los Angeles street gangs.
The walls were covered in grafiti and evidently it is now a hang-out for
gangs and drug addicts. Evidently, the tunnel is now located in a very dangerous
part of the city, so if you get to LA, don't go there!"
See also extensive information on the Web site of the Electric Railway Historical Association of Southern California at: http://www.erha.org/pewst.htm and a description
of the Hollywood Boulevard line on Tom Wetzel's site.
Pacific Electric Terminal at 417, South Hill Street - Photo by Donald Duke.
Information kindly transmitted by Robert Kummer: "Just a quick note about lost tunnels: you've got the Clyde tunnel, but did
you know of the corresponding 'lost' tunnel in Edinburgh? It runs from
Waverley station, Northwards on a moderately steep downward incline for
about a mile, under St. Andrew's Square, and emerging just below Scotland
It was built in the mid 19th century for the Edinburgh to Leith railway
(std. gauge), serving the harbour there, and originally used a cable winding
engine at the Waverly end to haul wagons up. The downhill journey was simple
- gravity powered. The journey from Scotland Street to Leith continued under
It was abandoned before WW2, I believe, as by then other (more practical)
rail links were available to Leith (although the branch from Leith to
Scotland Street remained in operation). During the War it was prepared as an
air raid shelter, and used to house troops. The last train ran down it
sometime in the sixties, I think, a railfan special. The tracks were torn up
thereafter, with the closure of the remaining Scotland Street - Leith
section. The tunnel itself was then a mushroom farm for many years.
A year or two ago, it was inspected and found to be in very good structural
shape, and there is talk (as always) of relaying tracks or even moving
walkways, airport-style (!) for some kind of link between Waverley and the
new bus station they've been promising in St Andrew's Square."
See also http://www.ednet.co.uk/~mctavish/tunnel.html
Tunnel mouth at the end of platform 19 in
Waverley station - Photo by Colin Beveridge, used w/o permission...
Kingsway tram tunnel, London, England.
Another "London under London" favourite. Have a look to Dewi Williams page for some
Looking again for any picture (old and recent) of the tunnel premises.
and still more to come...
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