Monday, 27 July 2015

Below Smithfield Market - More of Crossrail at Farringdon

You will have most probably already ready my first blog about my visit last Monday, 20th July, but there was oh so much more to show and tell!

The project manager took us wherever we wanted to go and the tour would not have been complete without seeking out the underground Victorian tunnels, especially those that were used to bring the meat to Smithfield market by rail.  They will come into use again once Crossrail is up and running as shunting areas for South West trains and various other railway related works.

As we left behind us the shuttering, blasting, spraying and sheeting of the modern engineering practice, you immediately were drawn to the extraordinary skill of the brickwork of the old tunnels. They are immense, long, deep and the vaulted ceilings are a wonder. The tracks are still underneath just covered up with aggregate and chalk for the time being to protect them from the current comings and goings of machinery.  Part of the tunnels, under Smithfield Market will be the power house for London Underground, cables and technical stuff being re-routed and made tidy as part of a Crossrail agreement.

Also a northern section of Smithfield Marked is currently propped up by squat black boxes the size of a catering tin of tomatoes! See picture below. Closely monitored, I can assure you, and sight to behold and wonder at. All movement in all parts of the excavation and building works are closely monitored by prisims attached to walls and checked with clever technology, so the minutest movement can be discerned.

Walking through the tunnels to the end we come out to see the rear of the new Farringdon Station, with the Tube line running along to our right behind Cowcross Street.

Narrower tunnels on the right side once used as office
and for storage by the Shunting Manager, space to make
a brew!
Under a bridge - name now obscured by graffiti

How to hold up a large building! Floating Smithfield Market
Example of the clever device that is holding up the foundations of Smithfield Market. 

Great brickwork - all of one piece.
Looking back to Barbican Station across the Farringdon site.

Looking down the Victorian tunnel to our exit point.

The cut-out oblong square in the roof is where the carcasses were hauled up to the meat market.

Coming up to the Snow Hill Curve that feeds to the left, we are going for the right.
At one time, long ago, connected to the Post Office stop.
A decorated Victorian post not sure if it's an air shaft or a lamp post of sorts?

Trains coming and going from Barbican Station

Looking towards the new station at Farringdon.

The colour orange!

Great shafts used for boring holes horizontally which are then filled with cement.
These go for many metres in a 'sun ray' pattern in all directions. They are and used to stablilise the ground
around the tunnel site and fan out for many metres.

Underground lines leading to Barbican Station, behind Cowcross Street.
Special thanks to the Project Manager and Crossrail staff who made this a very special tour!
A job well done and on time. Looking forward to seeing the completed project in 2018.

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