GES088 - Bull & Bush (North End) Incomplete Tube Station
The station that never was. Originally conceived in 1903, and incorporating the larger station tunnelling and layout, work stopped in 1906, when it was decided the station wouldn't be financially viable. It was used during the WWII for storing secret archives. As the Cold War started, a shaft was excavated to put lift access in place, and the station was used for civil defence. The primary use was for controlling emergency floodgates. It is now an evacuation route, should a train ever have problems between neighbouring stations. At 67m below ground, it's the deepest 'station' on the LU network.
This was a busy night for GE007, GE077 and myself, already having found the second half of GES087. GE077 didn't hang around in our search for the second half of GES08?, so had set off early to this site. GE007 and I explored the lower half of GES087, and then we whizzed over to here. We checked out the surface building for here, to make sure there was no official activity. And then made our way to the access point. We then tried to locate GE077, but he wasn't responding to our attempts to contact him. We then got ready to go to the access point, which, not exactly top secret, is going up the tube tunnel. This was something I wasn't particularly keen to do, as it's what's known as a zero clearance tunnel. Which effectively means if a train came down the tunnel, we'd be a red mess on the wall and tracks. Cut and Cover tunnels have small crossover sections in which to take refuge if a train came. So it meant running 800m into potentially extreme danger. It was very foolish and it quite reasonably could be argued, stupid.
We had taken some precautions. We watched the tracks for at least half an hour for any signs of activity. This was mainly because I'd spotted a worker wandering about with a big yellow pneumatic tube checking the points of the tracks. As we crept up to the entrance, he started to walk towards us. So we went back to a safer position on the bank, hiding in the shadows. The worker started working about 20m from us, and then a fellow worker came over to him for a chat. It was while knocking back some delightfully citrusy Mountain Dew, i inhaled the somewhat vomit inducing air, and realised there had been Fox actiivity about. The worker finally wandered off to nearer the station, and our chance came. We crept up to the entrance, had a final look around, and then ran like hell into the Zero Clearance Tunnel. For the next 800m, this was our view. All the time hoping and praying there be no wind picking up, or sound of rails being pounded by an approaching train. Luckily we were fine, and I stress luckily.
Eventually we emerged into a large tunnel and realised we'd made it into the station. The sense of relief was quickly overshadowed by the innate sense of exploring that guides us into these predicaments. This was our first view emerging into the non-station. A walkway crosses the tunnel in the ceiling, while bags of gravel are stacked up on the left. Everything was quiet as we wandered nervously deeper into the non-station.
A cross through section showed the true distance between the northbound and southbound tunnels.
The main entrance to the tracks if entering the station from the surface via the lift/stairs. Using myself as a light barricade, i was able to make things legible.
In the cross through was a notice to show just how much effort it was going to take to get to the surface. Also how far we'd come from the previous station, minus 100m between the station and tunnel entrance.
Passing through the cross through to the other side of non-station, brought one into this area. The tunnel had been split in half, and a dividing wall built. In the cross through area is a set of stairs...
These stairs to be precise. They lead up to the main evacuation route and the flood control centre.
Walking down the tracks a bit gives one this shot, which shows clearly the dividing wall. Creating an area away from the tracks..
As you can see, there wasn't much to look at behind the dividing wall.
The track power indicator, states off mode, but one always remains careful. What happens if it suddenly switches from off to on? Talking of power, the remains of the powerful energy and caffeine provider Mountain Dew lay evident.
On climbing the stairs I was hopeful about seeing the flood control centre, but as i climb the stairs, I was met with a distinctly locked door.
Some more steps up, and I was at the bottom of the lift shaft and stairs. As the lift door is shown with a hefty chain around it, one imagines that workers from above are forced to descend the many stairs.
The stairs were split into two halves, the bottom half being these metal stairs, the top half were concrete with a solid wall to wind around.
It was then back down the steps to the tracks to see what GES007 was up too.
As I was looking for GE007, I was startled by the appearance from nowhere of a rather bedraggled and sooty faced GE077. He'd been sleeping at the top of the lift shaft stairs, in-between trying to get a mobile signal. He looked shattered. He explained how there was a cctv camera and alarmed door at the top of the stairs, and how it wouldn't be wise to exit there.
I went back with GE077 and found GE007 up the second set of stairs that lead to the walkway that crosses the tracks in the second picture down. It clearly hadn't been used for ages, as there were only a few footprints up it in the dodgy dust.
This is the walkway as it crosses the tracks. It went a few metres around the corner to some sort of boiler room with the remains of a boiler type object.
We then returned to the tracks for a rare group photo us. GE077 planned to put a report up of his recent tube based explores on the 28DL webforum, and wanted a group shot. As we had all done most of the stations together or based on each other's research and reccieing.
It was nice to have done an explore that only 2 other well known explorers had done. Although they weren't the first, as well known London tag artist Tox, has shown. His daubings were all over the station and visible below on the wall boxes. A group of taggers had even run down these tracks as far as Camden Town to tag up the station one xmas day many years ago.
And with that it was time to do the silly run again, and run like crazy down the tracks back to the tunnel entrance. Would we be lucky enough to run it twice and survive?