IM A Little Power Station, Short And Stout

Author Happyshopper - Last updated: 17.02.2013

The final day of our summer expedition was spent largely mooching around Powerstation IM – A huge derelict coal-fired power station in Belgium. Apologies for a lack of images, my tripod had broken the day before so I can only give you a taster of this huge site. You’ll just have to visit in person to see more.

This being the final day of a 7 day trip we were all a little fatigued so when we headed for the cooling tower to begin I just couldn’t work up the enthusiasm for getting wet and muddy going underneath to get that shot. Lending my wellies to Me Two I headed into the cooling tower proper, there to seemingly wait an eternity for Me Two and Subversive to emerge. At least the slots between gangways allowed for hurling some abuse their way while we waited.

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Colossus by jamescharlick, on Flickr

After making a short jog across the river we headed inside and up to the main level with all the generators and such. If you’ve never been inside a power station before you might assume the behemothic cooling towers outside are going to be the largest spaces you will encounter. You’ll soon realise however that you’re very wrong. As soon as you walk into the turbine halls, in fact. Huge spaces with ceilings receding off upwards somewhere high above you which only accentuates the space and the scale of the turbines themselves.

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Generator by jamescharlick, on Flickr

Heading upwards towards the main control room, I realised quite how tired my legs were after days of non-stop exploring.

Another level? Ok. Ow. One more? Great. Ow. Not this one then? Wonderful. Ow.

The control room is pretty much in tact, but very hard to photograph because of the location of the windows. I might fight with that image later on, but I doubt it. It’s a very utilitarian space, rather tightly packed and not very photogenic.

The gangways and spaces surrounding it with the network of interconnected pipes however, although dark, are rather interesting and there are some nice features if you care to hunt them down.

Up again into the light once more and you find on the top levels shiny silver pipes and hoppers, an odd contrast to the grimy black of the layers below and the primary reds and blues of the turbines further down again.

There’s something to photograph in every direction. Left, right, up, down, I don’t think a tired mind could cope with the options available here, and the combination of fatigued indifference and a buggered tripod meant I came away dissatisfied with my efforts to capture the space and features. Next time we’ll hit this first. I think you need to.

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Sulzer X by jamescharlick, on Flickr

From above we noticed another group of Urban Tourists had entered the turbine hall below us, and after a few minutes they joined us at the top for a chat before wandering off into the maze of pipes themselves.

Fortunately heading down was much easier than up and we made it back to the car without incident. Almost time for the long drive home, save for some nearby trains. Choo chooooo.

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