London’s Kingsway Exchange Tunnels, constructed under the London Underground to shelter residents from German bombings during World War II, are set for an ambitious transformation into a major tourist attraction. The London Tunnels Foundation, led by CEO Angus Murray, plans to invest $267 million to convert kilometers of tunnels into a public attraction, as reported by CNN.
The Kingsway Exchange Tunnels are located approximately 40 meters below Chancery Lane station in the Holborn district. They were built in the 1940s to protect Londoners during the Second World War. Following the war, they were closed to the public and served as a top-secret section for MI-6, the British intelligence agency. During the Cold War era, the tunnels were transformed into a telephone exchange that housed a network of 5,000 trunk cables. They even featured a “hotline” directly connecting the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union.
As technology advanced, the telephone exchange became obsolete and was eventually closed. Today, investors aim to revitalize the history of the tunnels by incorporating large high-resolution screens, interactive installations, and hundreds of various sensors and speakers.
The project will involve an investment of $170.5 million for tunnel restoration and an additional $97 million for technological enhancements and exhibits. It is expected that tourists will be able to visit the tunnels by 2027.