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Military-purpose subway lines?! - Secrets of underground Tokyo

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Intresting (if true) article about mysteries of underground tokyo, including theories that the Yurachuko line was built for military use, and the Toei Oedo line's tunnels already existed well before they were converted into a subway line.

Edited by DavideTreni
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Whether the rumors are true or not, I think it is reasonable to have metro's tunnels as shelters. When I was living in Korea (South), I noticed that almost all buildings have basements for shelter with clear information sign for it. So, if perhaps Japanese government also concern about brother Jong-Un of North Korea, having shelters in Tokyo is reasonable..


By the way, speaking of using rail lines for military use, if you watched Shin-Godzilla, you'd realize how important are the rail lines in Tokyo for defense :)

Edited by houari
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I think every city with an underground railway system has myths/urban legends/bullshit stories surrounding it. Even Sydney, with our very small amount of underground railway has a number of fantastical tales told about it. Not one of which has any foundation in truth whatsoever.


Back when I was a relief traffic officer I worked at every underground station we have, and explored all of them very thoroughly (When you were on afternoon shift, you didn't have much else to do.) As I half expected, the many rumours about labyrinths of secret tunnel networks weren't true.





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You just didn't know the secret code, have your magic decoder rings and knock the right way on the right doors!





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The Netherlands has its fair share of shelters in its two subway networks and under some railway stations. Most of these were built during the Cold War and are now out of use. I believe at least some of them were built to withstand atomic bombings.

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East european metro systems are almost always built as nuclear shelters. In Budapest, the lines 2 and 3 have stations built following the London deep level shelter pattern. (line 1 was built in the 19th century and too shallow, line 4 is modern and still lacks shelter equipment) You can see the blast door covers at the foot of the escalators. Also each station is isolatable with doors across the tunnels. Food is only stored for one year though. Drills are held once a year but only for civil defense personel.


Some stations have extra tunnels, like the parliament sidings built in the 1950ies for an evacuation train. That government shelter (k2) has connections to the parliament, the office buildings, the old central hvac building two blocks away and to the castle hill district's 4 levels of basements and tunnels housing a field hospital (now a museum), the central library's archives, the netional gallery storage vault, the old central electrical net control center, old government phone exchange (now a museum) and bank vaults in the opposite corner of the hill and behind castle hill the defense ministry building and up to the citadel and the air defense installation on St Gellert hill. And that's only the known part of one site.


Generally speaking you can walk underground from the far west edge of town from the ordogarok (devil's trench) underground river to the far east edge at pillango (butterfly) street where the metro system has the rail connnection exit for the government shelter. (the other one is at the south east edge near the airport behind the koki shopping center, next to the station) Some of it is roman, some middle ages, many ww2 and the newer ones are from the cold war. Each new one is deeper down.


ps: Since the end of the cold war most of it is abandoned, like the old stone quarry district aircraft and ammo factory under the old beer factory. They stopped the pumps decades ago and now the whole site has filled with water. Scuba diving is allowed though but only to the -5 level with a guide and you must not disturb the dirt on the floor so the water remains clear.


The old Ganz factory site was taken over by chinese merchants and every time there is a raid, they keep finding new stashes and secret workshops installing fake brandmarks and repackaging. The main underground rail connection was filled though in the 1990ies to secure the rest of the system and there are efforts to get rid of these merchants and clean up the district.


ps: so imho sometimes the stories are true but usually if there is something down there it's existence is officially public

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I know London has some tunnels which were originally intended as part of a deep level express tube line, but only the station tunnels were dug. When WW2 broke out they were pressed into service as shelters and government offices, and the original project was never completed.

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You are talking about these:


They were built during ww2 as shelters and were meant to be reused as underground tunnels but that never happened.


Most east block cold war metro stations follow this basic layout, except they are much bigger and some that follow the extended Budapest pattern have up to three levels. Two mainline sized tunnels, widened to platform width, connected by a larger parallel central tunnel connecting to the end of the escalator tunnel. Auxiliary tunnels connecting the running tunnels to each other and to the vertical ventillation shafts with storage shafts dug horizontally into the side of the running tunnels and the platform tunnels opposite to the central island platform. Stations are partitionable from each other at the midpoints between stations. Passengers use the middle levels of the main tunnels as platforms. Blast doors are located at the top and bottom of the escalator tunnels usually starting from the -1 or -2 concourse levels.

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