GES198 - Amsterdam Metro - Line 52 (under construction)
As with most trips I make off the beaten path, I'd seen some pictures from here by another explorer, and wanted to see more. There's something rather sexy about round curved tunnels that head off into the distance. I'd read on the official website about how it was a 24/7 operation, so was wary of workers being here.
After sharing Indonesian noodles on a random boat on the canal with GE006, who'd popped up to meet us and hang out, but not explore. We said goodbye to him, and walked off towards a construction site. It was a busy Saturday night, and we attempted to go in around 11ish in an area full of bars, public transport stops and streams of people, ermmm! We stood for ages waiting and waiting for a gap to hop a low fence. Every time we tried to go for it, someone would appear at the last minute around a corner, or walk out of a shop front. We decided to walk off and find another work site, where we might be able to gain entry. However the situation was worse there. So back we went, and again stood waiting. FINALLY, we got that gap, and quickly bundled in.
Getting down to the first level was easy, apart from a camera mounted on a wall. We looked around, but there didn't appear to be any easy access down to the next level. There was a viewing platform for the public to have a gander at what was going on beneath their feet. Instead, we decided to climb down the painfully set up wire mesh that was due to get drowned in concrete. It wasn't a particularly sane idea, but it worked. Here's the mesh wall and works going on. The actual tunnels were on the level below this picture. The small lit up area above the mesh section is where the first level sits. Just to give some sense to scale.
The large ramp down between the 2nd and 3rd (track) levels. Would be interested to see how this is finally fitted out.
Down on the 3rd level, and stood on the track bed. A digger works at a section of wall where the metro tunnel will go and join up with the next section.
Stairs on the left go up to the 2nd level, the two tunnel bores ahead. The station is behind the camera in this shot. I always think it's rather amazing to see the scale of these places, all excavated out. When the stations are kitted out, you rarely get to appreciate the size.
Looking down the station platforms.
The tunnels, the tracks and ballast being yet to be added.
A tiny GE079 sits at the end of the tunnel above, no more than about 500m long. The tunnel opened into this lightly flooded open section. I crept ahead of GE063 and GE079, and went along to the far side, and up a ladder to where the camera sits. I was curious as to what lay beyond. But on getting to the top, 5m ahead lay a wall, and no further progress. I climbed back down the ladder, and ascended the scaffold seen in the centre of the picture, to see where it went.
It went up to the 2nd level, and had a passage that led to a room with a few electrical boxes and metres. To the side was a tough steel door, similar to what you'd expect to find on a safe in a bank. Behind the steel shiny door lay this room, with what look like two huge hydraulic dams. Possibly designed to seal off the tunnels should flooding occur.
The area with the dams had no surface access, so we walked back up the metro tunnels, and back to the station area. Rather than climb back up the concrete meshing, we opted to climb scaff stairs up to the first level, and then up this box crane to the surface. Not looking down really helps in this situation!
All out safely, we walked through the site, and slipped out under a gate. A nice last explore at the end of a tiring and active trip. We then faced a long long walk back to the car.
Thanks to GE063 & GE079 for company.