London

Museum of London plans for see-through rail tunnel

Mock up of see-through tunnel Image copyright Museum of London
Image caption Thameslink trains currently run beneath the site the museum hopes to move to

Commuters could become exhibits after Museum of London bosses revealed they hoped to make a train tunnel that runs through their new site see-through.

Thameslink trains between Farringdon and City Thameslink travel beneath Smithfield market where the museum plans to move to.

Lead curator Alex Werner said the viewing area would allow visitors to see trains run along "some of London's earliest railway tunnels".

The new site is due to open in 2022.

Image copyright Stanton Williams and Asif Khan
Image caption An artist's impression of what the atrium at the museum's new atrium would look like

Mr Werner said the museum wanted to use what was already in the area to "uncover the hidden landscape beneath London".

Plans from the 19th Century show the area had a "great Victorian network of railway lines" which was used by workers at the former meat market, he said.

The "lost" River Fleet, which runs beneath Farringdon Road, acted as a water supply for the market as well as a Victorian sewer and the museum hopes to incorporate viewpoints of the water.

"There are lots of stories to tell in relation to just this part of London", Mr Werner said.

Image copyright Emma Lynch/BBC
Image caption The River Fleet which runs beneath Farringdon Road was covered over during the 19th century

Discussions have begun about the proposed move but planning permission for the £250m project has yet to be submitted.

The City of London Corporation and City Hall have pledged £180m towards the project but the museum is looking to raise another £70m to move to its new home.

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