The London Underground

Wildeyed and hyperventilating, you turn terrified to face the lights racing down the tunnel. Thundering towards you swaying side to side like a loping predator, eyes blazing, comes a London Underground train. Mere inches separate the train from the walls of bolted steel rings but you knew that before you started. The train smashes through your body, cold steel unflinching as it drags you from your feet. For the briefest moment you are pressed against the glass, face to terror stricken face with the driver whose dreams you will haunt for the rest of his life. This won't worry you much longer however.

Mind-the-Gap
Waiting on a train that always comes but never stops. London fucking Underground baby.

Gravity overcomes friction, then pulls your battered body down into the the rusty guillotine like wheels of the train which tear your limbs effortlessly from their sockets. Possessed by a glimmer of luck your spinal cord breaks, saving you the searing pain of your crushed ribcage for a second before 600 volts of direct current surges through whatever chunks of flesh are still connected. You have mentally scarred an innocent train driver and delayed the journey of thousands of londoners. This mess won't clean itself. However none of these things overly bother you right now, you have troubles enough with your pulped gibblets strewn along the tracks.

Whether you're hacking transit systems or computer systems they're all fissured, all possessing those little cracks just wide enough to wriggle your drity little fingers into and force apart to sneak a peek into what lies beneath the shiny smoothed over facade most take for granted every single day.

KKKill-the-fetus
Abandoned Station KKK, London Underground 2009.

Transport For London has done a great job of smoothing over the cracks in The Tube though, merging the old systems into a cohesive whole. They've done this well enough that for a long time the tube was treated with this magical reverence as if it was untouchable, undoable, simply accepted and taken for granted it wasn't going to be explored. It wasn't just the significant consequences, the tube had an aura that seemed to dissuade explorers from even trying. The abandoned stations are no secret, it just took someone to come in and offer it up on a silver platter before the masses would add it to a list and have a shot.

Clearly the writers didn't give a fuck about an aura or the rumours, they'd been chasing trains and cracking the tube open for years. Back in mid 2008 we started seeing the cracks in the network to. From the nocturnal pitches into the cut and cover tunnels of snowhill, to the deep level wonder of the Magic Door, our eyes were being opened slowly to what was possible in the Tube. It became apparent the real barrier to exploring the tube wasn't locks, alarms and sensors (though they certainly exist), it was lack of effort.

Involved
Pin the orb to the wall with your hip, do not let it escape. London Underground 2009.

I packed out of London shortly after Snowhill and the Magic Door, tagging in Siologen Jeeves Westminster who, inspired by our absolute demolition of the Paris metro and experienced from killing Sydney's subway, began his own major league takedown on the Tube. Only a foreigner would arrive in London hoist the digit to the status quo and come up trumps as SJW did. A fresh perspective and motivation tends to do that.

KKK
The unexpected bonus prizes after the KKK obstacle course, London Underground 2009.

Back in early '09 Snappel and I were taking in the sights and smells of London for a weekend and met up with ol' SJWIII to hit some tube. The all-but-branded SJW tours weren't going to cut the exploration mustard and I felt the need to redeem myself since I never cracked a station while I lived in London. A tour is a tour is a tour no-matter which way you slice it, so we picked a station he hadn't yet explored and got down to business.

Between snaps, SJW and myself Station ML (haha euro code baby!) quickly delivered her dirty treasures, in a manner which led us to believe that nobody (we know of) had previously explored it because nobody knew what to look for, nobody looked very hard or most likely, nobody ever bothered to actually look. I never did when I was in London.

Beam-Cake
Station ML, London Underground 2009.

Danger-geez
Station ML, London Underground 2009.

We checked out another couple of stations over that weekend and it really highlighted how currently tube exploration is so dissimilar to our Parisian metro exploration. The tube is much like climbing to the top of a tree, having a look around, climbing back down and looking around for another tree. The metro in contrast is like donning a squirrel suit and leaping from branch to branch across the forest. If you're doing it right in Paris you're exploring the system, not just poking into small interconnected but non-traversable sections.

London poses other challenges such as the lack of raccord tunnels, the geographical spread of the system, the constant late night track work and the tighter tunnels which leave no room to dodge midservice trains like one does day in day out in Paris. Hurdles or not though put your eyes to the glass of the train and the writing on the wall says it all, it's more than possible.

Tunnel-Telephone
This is some straight up villain shit. Now you can have your phone and eat it to.

I'm hoping that those who've followed in the footsteps of SJW, or been inspired by his inroads into the system, will begin to perhaps explore The Tube like a system, or at least discover to what degree this is possible. Further, I'm hoping to see that fresh talent and old hands, whether united of individually, break new ground, new stations and new sights in the Tube. Already some have manned up and added to the tally with previously unexplored stations, while others continue in the shadows of others. In a system so wide there's ample opportunity for many to leave their name, literally or not, on what is the Tube of London. With such a big system begging to be combed for cracks and much up for grabs, why take the tour?

Unlikely
His pants may be fastened by speaker cable but he's got the fucking knack when it comes to cracking London wide wide ope...

Zzzz
Active tunnels, London Underground.

Writers
As usual, the writers have been there done that by a long way. Active tunnels London Underground.

Of course, there's much more to The Underground than abandoned stations and zero clearance tunnels. Find the abandoned tunnels and there's space aplenty. Shouts to Siologen Jeeves Westminster III. People will tell you it's too risky, too dangerous, it can't be done. Maybe it's these and more, but I entrust you to weigh the merits yourself. Do what you will with this information, pursuit of these adventures and spaces is an exercise left to the discretion of the reader. May I wish you the best of luck and god speed, you'll need haste a plenty when the rails sing, air rushes and blazing lights round the corner ahead.

 

Pi
Connections between abandoned and active tunnels, London Underground.

Paint
Abandoned tunnel section, The London Underground, 2009.

About the author

Found frigid and dying in the snow by a passing missionary at the abandoned Soviet airbase in Choir, Mongolia, little dsankt never had a chance. The Dreams Foundation granted his wish to one day travel the world, thinking he'd only last a month or so. To everyone's amazement he's still going strong. When asked for comment the foundation's treasurer would only say, "The little mongrel cunt just won't fucking die, it's costing us a fortune!"

Little Mike   6 years ago
Holy Shit. That is all.
Cam   6 years ago
Wow Ds.! You really have gone above and beyond your humble beginings in Brisbane. Keep it up.
imprezawrxsti   6 years ago
you are straight up mental. end. on that note, i'm doing this next time i'm in a city with a metro.
durgin mcgee   6 years ago
your movin heaps fast! your moving fast as! slow doon bru!
slappy   6 years ago
Outstanding! I cant help thinking that the third rail must be useful for something other than delivering peeps to work and home. Alfoil and popcorn thats all I'm saying.
dsankt   6 years ago
Cam, things are always on the up... remember that night kicking around btown and your parents were paranoid we were going to kidnap and rape you. Good times!
dsankt   6 years ago
Impreza, just watch for sensors/cams on the tunnel portals and of course the 3rd rail. Mid tunnel access is generally safer and less risky. Durgin, we're out of control capn, careening into an abyss of win! Help!
dsankt   6 years ago
slappy, we're beginning experiments shorty on making popcorn from the 3rd rail. Future posts will indicate the success or failure of this endeavor.
Cam   6 years ago
Haha Great times! You better come home soon... Or have you forgotten where that is?
Flicka   5 years ago
I'll never give another thought to valley-central tunnel.
Underground bomber   5 years ago
Mile end to stratford central line? You should of explored some circle line tunnels.
windows help and support   2 years ago
A lot more informative about the insight which highlights about the underground works done for the purpose of bringing underground railing into light. The site has done a pretty good job in helping others to know more and must say, great work.
dsankt   5 years ago
Mr Bomber, not everything done is posted.
Julie   5 years ago
HI guys,
Sorry to pop in on your feed like this, but i've been doing some research on Urban explorers and have just spotted your amazing photos.
My name is Julie Harris, I am currently a final year geography student at the University of Manchester. In the past year I have become really interested in Urban Exploration and have decided to write my undergraduate dissertation on it.
The study I am doing is focussed on the motivation behind Urban Exploration, with the aim of discussing: Are Urban Explorers geographers?
I am hoping to find some Urban explorers who would be willing to have an informal chat with me on this topic. Obviously no names will be used in my work, and for anyone that does not wish to meet with me, we could find an online way of having this discussion (e.g. MSN/Skype/email). For those based around the Greater Manchester or London area who are happy to meet and chat over a coffee, the drinks are on me!
I’m hoping to do my research some time in October, so if anyone is game please contact me via email: Julie.harris-2@stude nt.manchester.ac.uk< br /> Thanks a million x
BradKid   5 years ago
Dsankt:
I see your comment "not everything done is posted", I'm wandering if you ventured into any partially flooded tube tunnels? There are stations left untouched since WW2. I would love to see some photo's if you have any. If this isn't the sort of thing you want posted up. My apologies and please delete.
bsidez   4 years ago
Like always; Cream of the crop
imprez   4 years ago
top shelf as usual ds. makes me pine for the days when i used to call out york road and down street to my friends on the piccadilly every day. they got pretty annoyed. i was a slacker when i lived in the capital. i need to go back.
Speedio   4 years ago
yes! another sleepy city post i understand! im sure there is more to come
Moe   4 years ago
Heh - I'm pretty psyched I even got the tour.
snap   4 years ago
Given you had about 3 hours, I'd say you did pretty well! London got the double-guns, good an' proper guv'nor!
nckt   4 years ago
bang tidy as per usual.
Winch   4 years ago
Nice one, I guess this post has been in the pipeline for some time now?
dsankt   4 years ago
Most of 'em are.
s///   4 years ago
Lawl, we did this stuff, in what? March 2009?
dsankt   4 years ago
Yeah, it's all a bit old now but good times regardless of age.
Jondoe   4 years ago
Nice. I feel I should be more interested in this . . . but curiously am not. Perhaps it's the lack of poop in dem der pipes? Jolly nice all the same.
dsankt   4 years ago
One could always bring your own. Tartan sheet and a picnic basket?
Metro   4 years ago
Man I wish we had shit like this back in AU. Diggin your adventures!
dsankt   4 years ago
You hit the roma-central-brunswick tunnels yet?
neurom   4 years ago
do you something cool in Rome, IT? thank you!
Anonymous   4 years ago
They're pretty locked these days, pressure plates and all of that jazz
dsankt   4 years ago
Unfortunately not, one day...
dsankt   4 years ago
Anonymous, the roma-central-bruswick tunnels in brisbane have pressure plates and hi-tech security? What's the point, if people wanna hit the tunnels and get clocked by a train well too bad. Them's the risks.
Anonymous   4 years ago
Oh I agree, I'm just saying that's what I am aware of in the way of anti tunnel-wandering measures being there currently. The last person I know who tried to go through came out to a squad of QR flunkies/police.
imprez   4 years ago
oh i love me some gratuitous tube porn. and all deep level shit even! well done boys.
dsankt   4 years ago
It's not too deep, just deep enough.
Winch   4 years ago
Nice one, if this is where I think it is, then you've just answered a question for me.
dsankt   4 years ago
Another satisfied customer, would help again +++++
SuspiciousMinds   4 years ago
For all your Transient Tube Testimonies: dial 1-800-DSANKT.
dsankt   4 years ago
Mr SJWIII is the man for the job if London's to your taste. If you want something a little more continential, a little french, then you're absolutely at the right place.
Glenn   4 years ago
Awesome pics, I wish I was still in London to check out some of these tunnels.
dsankt   4 years ago
Some friends of mine where in Lithuania earlier this year and it's not devoid of offerings. I recall seeing some missile bases and the like. Not tube but still something.
Anonymous   4 years ago
You just got linked on the front page of hurtyoubad a graff blog ey why ai
nckt   4 years ago
off the hook.
dsankt   4 years ago
Cheers cap'n.
TH3RTY2   4 years ago
sikkk pictures, especially the 1st one!
jannx aka jannx   4 years ago
The man's more powerful than the trains designed for these tunnels!
dsankt   4 years ago
Only when hes smashing 96% eastern european grain liquor by the mouthful.
Jim Gillette   4 years ago
Have my babies?
dsankt   4 years ago
Are they tasty?
Jaycee   4 years ago
Would do anything to see these places. Australia just doesn't have the history. Love what you guys do. Real adventure kids.
dsankt   4 years ago
Australia has tons of decent stuff and while the City Loop and City Circle aren't up to the likes of London and Paris they still offer some pretty interesting adventures.
medwayboy   4 years ago
Take me in their please......
dsankt   4 years ago
Okay.
Semiramida   4 years ago
thank you for the post!
Ford miami   4 years ago
Couldnt be written any better. Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!
Pinata   3 years ago
I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it, I have you bookmarked to check out all the new stuff you post....
American photographer in Paris   3 years ago
I like this concept. I visited your blog for the first time and just been your fan. Keep posting as I am gonna come to read it everyday
Kia Miami   3 years ago
I like your blog post. Keep on writing this type of great stuff. I'll make sure to follow up on your blog in the future.
منتجعات جده   3 years ago
I've surfed the net more than three hours today, and your blog was the coolest of all. Thanks a lot, it is really useful to me.
Sambo   3 years ago
Your photos are outstanding
Fussbaelle   3 years ago
These are some really nice pictures of the underground - nice atmosphere. Keep up your good work.
Mathieu   3 years ago
Ooh! Underground rail is a little threatening. Yet, I have recently heard from a friend who travelled the UK rail, first class, and she admitted that it was one of the most memorable experiences to date!
Christopher   3 years ago
Through sheer courage and some insanity, you have provided us with some great insight and photos. Great mood and atmosphere. Keep up the good work.
Jogos De Carros   2 years ago
I wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can Get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect!
wave   2 years ago
Fabulous theme that provide knowledge and such a nice site by which we get great pleasure for looking writter coming up……
RLC   2 years ago
My name is Julie Harris, I am currently a final year geography student at the University of Manchester. In the past year I have become really interested in Urban Exploration and have decided to write my undergraduate dissertation on it.
look here   2 years ago
The photographs clearly reflect the strength of the tunnel constructions. The railway line is very well constructed with necessary lightings. The London underground is one of rapid transit system in the United Kingdom, which covers a large area of the London city.
blog of webcreationuk   2 years ago
Underground rail is a little threatening. Yet, I have recently heard from a friend who travelled the UK rail, first class, and she admitted that it was one of the most memorable experiences to date!
windows help and support   2 years ago
A lot more informative about the insight which highlights about the underground works done for the purpose of bringing underground railing into light. The site has done a pretty good job in helping others to know more and must say, great work.
rodrigo   2 months ago
Fucking cool. You should definitely try exploring tunnels of Rio or Sao Paulo, here in Brazil. Though we don't have these giant subway systems, i bet the adventure would be nice. The only problem is that being found inside a tunnel here would certainly put you in jail. subway here is way too restrict, you can't even take pictures inside stations.