Small underground house in a tunnel under Liverpool

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People traveling by train to or from Liverpool may have caught a glimpse of a small house deep underground.

The tiny house sits between the train tracks at Lime Street Station and is easily missed in the dark station cut-off. The house is also dangerous and difficult to access as there are busy train tracks on either side.

But in 2017, when the station was closed for 23 days for renovations, a worker was able to take a photo of the blackened, eerie little house with its chimney. The house is believed to be over a century old and was originally built as a “mess hut” according to Network Rail.

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Track workers would take their breaks inside the shack during their shift – and there is always a bench and a fireplace inside. A Network Rail spokesman said: “We always knew it was there but many passengers may not know it. Due to its location and the angle when entering Lime Street you miss it on your journey through the station.”

The miniature house is located at the bottom of the tunnels that connect Liverpool Lime Street station when coming from Edge Hill. Although the house is close to one of Liverpool’s busiest commuter lines, it is only accessible when trains are not running.

In 2018, ECHO was offered an exclusive glimpse inside the eerie old structure in the early hours of the morning before services began. Looking at the dark building, it can be hard to imagine anyone spending time inside the haunting little house.



The secret little house between the lanes of Liverpool Lime Street. Image: Railway network

The house has been disused for at least 50 years, with parts of the floor collapsing – but you can still make out some signs of the hut’s former use. Explaining the history of the property, Network Rail’s Graeme Whitehead said: ‘In years past track maintenance crews would have come here, had their lunch, a cup of coffee, lit the fire and waited between the trains.

“We have no intention of doing anything with it, it will stay here, it is protected under the tunnels and will remain locked in history forever. It is hard to see if you are a passenger in a train.



The benches inside the Secret Workmen's Mess Hut tucked away in the tunnels between Edge Hill and Lime Street Station
The benches inside the Secret Workers’ Mess Hut tucked away in the tunnels between Edge Hill and Lime Street Station

“If the light is in the right place, you can pretty much see the outline of it, but it’s a little gem that’s locked away and kept in the dark.”

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Inside the workers' mess hut hidden in the tunnels between Edge Hill and Lime Street station
A table inside the workers’ mess hut hidden in the tunnels between Edge Hill and Lime Street station

Benches run along both sides, with a table in the center and a fireplace used by workers to keep warm between trains during the winter months. Engineers also found an old kettle, mug and tongs used to move materials up the chimney.



The fireplace inside the workers' mess hut
The fireplace inside the workers’ mess hut

Does this bring back memories for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

When ECHO was allowed to visit the shack in 2018, Network Rail was preparing for the second phase of an upgrade from June 2 to July 29, designed to allow Lime Street to accommodate more and more trains long. However, the cabin remained intact as part of the work.



The rooftop space of the historic little shack hidden in a railway tunnel under Liverpool city center
The rooftop space of the historic little shack hidden in a railway tunnel under Liverpool city center

It’s not the only piece of history workers have uncovered as part of Lime Street improvement projects over the years. In 2019, a historic piece of the station that had remained hidden under passengers’ feet for years was discovered by builders carrying out renovations.

Three stone slabs that formed part of the surface of the original 1836 platform were unearthed during the station’s £140million upgrade.




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