Leeds railway station's 'lost world'

Train travellers may not recognise the scenes. But every day they stand directly above these hidden chambers as they come and go from Platform 8 at Leeds City Train Station.

Photography student Francesca Depledge spent months getting security clearance before she was allowed to explore the subterranean landscape.

The 21-year-old is in her third year of a BA (Hons) in photography at

Leeds College of Art.

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Francesca said: "I work part-time at Bar Work on Wellington Street and got talking to this guy Darrel, who works at the station, about the remains of the old Leeds station which is under the new platforms.

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"It took me about six months to get access. When I finally got down there it was totally different to what I expected. Some of the rooms and corridors, like the one with the telephone on the wall, reminded of photos I've seen of Grand Central Station in New York.

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"But others weren't that remarkable, just untouched from 1950s and 60s and covered in dust.

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"I really tried to focus on the small details, like the telephone or the empty coat hangers.

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"I tended to go down at night, so the dark shadows made it a bit threatening with all the strange noises coming from the builders up top."

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Francesca, who lives in Headingley, Leeds, used a digital Cannon 400d as well as her conventional film Mamiya cameras to capture the eerie and atmospheric shots for her final degree show which is in June.

Then she hopes to make a career as a photographer.

The former Bradford CTC pupil from Thornton, Bradford, said: "When I was at college I'd started doing A level Religious Studies but hated it. It sounds a bit corny, but I was really passionate about it (photography) – I still am.

"I've been trying for internships at magazines, from Heat to Dazed and Confused.

"Although I'm going for jobs in the celebrity industry my style tends to be a bit darker and suited to photo-journalism.

"Maybe I'm just fighting my natural direction."

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