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Monday, April 03, 2006

Waterloo & City Line Trains "rescued"

Trains in air, trains on the road

As most people probably know, the
Waterloo & City Line (Drain) is undergoing a refurbishment and this means it was closed from the 1st April and won't be re-opening until September 2006. What you may not know, is that in order to do the work, the Tube trains had to be lifted from their tunnels by crane. Regular contributor, Stephen Knight, was on the spot taking pictures when this was happening on Saturday:

Waterloo & City Line train lifted by crane - Photo by Stephen Knight

The Waterloo and City line doesn't have a rail connection to any other part of the London Underground or mainline network, so the only way of getting carriages and equipment into and out of Waterloo, is via a shaft on Spur Road, to the side of the Waterloo Action Centre.

The whole thing reminded me a bit of the rescue operation with the Thames whale being hoisted from the river by crane. This seemed even more the case when Allan Williams sent me a picture of one of the trains, then travelling by road.

Waterloo & City Line Train travelling by road - Photo by Allan Williams

Allan said "I spotted this while driving up the M40 last night. The sign on the back showed its destination to be BANK. I assume it is a Waterloo and City line train on its way to be repaired and I imagine, like a pit pony, it is a little shocked to be out in daylight and rain." The trains will actually be repainted in standard London Underground livery during their visit to Doncaster.

The last time the trains were hoisted from their natural home was in 1993 when the stock themselves were being replaced and Steve Everett sent me a link to that story with similar pictures.

Waterloo & City Line trains in 1993

"The class 487 trains which ran on the Waterloo and City line between 1940 and 1993 were taken by road to Glasgow for scrap."

Cheers guys for all the links and photos, and my sympathies to everyone who needs to find a new route until September. I made that journey on the Drain for about a year and the alternatives aren't fantastic, to say the least!


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