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Report - Lydgate Tunnel, saddleworth, oldham, march 2013

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Tom Sherman, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman 28DL Regular User
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    :) Visited with marsden1002 :)

    This was the 3rd explore of the day out of 3

    After doing robert fletchers paper mill and wellington mill in oldham we decided to go and check out the old Lydgate railway Tunnel that was also in oldham. So we popped on our waterproofs and headed down the old railway platform to the tunnel entrance.
    When we got in there it was rather dry apart from a big fuckoff swimming pool that i almost fell in, So i put my hand on the wall to stop me falling and got thick black soot all over it :eek:

    Here is the history of the tunnel

    Lydgate tunnel lies between Grotton and Grasscroft in Saddleworth and runs under the village of Lydgate.

    When it was constructed it was the longest railway tunnel in the Oldham at 1335 yards. According to historical documents the average cost of the Lydgate Tunnel, was £26 per lineal yard through rock - a lot of money for 1335 yards of it!

    In 2007 residents in the area began voicing fears that the tunnel could collapse and lead to subsidence in their homes. Remedial work was undertaken in 2008 to repair sections of the tunnel lining, though the British Railways Board gave assurances that the work was part of an ongoing maintenance program and the tunnel was never in any danger of collapse.

    Within the tunnel are 4 no. Vertical air vents, these appear to have been capped off.

    THE DELPH DONKEY RAILWAY

    The 'Delph Donkey' was the nickname given to a 'push-pull' LNWR (London North Western Railway) branch line which opened in 1849 to connect Oldham, Greenfield and Delph to the main Huddersfield to Manchester line.

    However, the line to Greenfield Junction from Mumps and the stations at Lees, Grotton and Grasscroft opened on 5th July 1856. The line was the brainwave of James Lees of Delph,a mill owner, who pressured LNWR for it's construction.

    The route started at Oldham Clegg Street, the next stop was Oldham Glodwick Road before it's route to Lees. It's at the intersection of Station Street that the train would have passed under Oldham Road.
    If you follow the bridlepath today, you are able to walk the route the train would have taken before it's next stop, Grotton & Springhead Station. Just past here the trian would have entered the West portal of Lydgate tunnel.

    At the East portal point of Lydgate tunnel, little can be seen due to overgrown vegetation. The next stop would be Grasscroft Halt before joining the main line to Greenfield, it continued on the line until Moorgate Halt set above Uppermill.

    It then left the main line and veered sharply to the left to follow the perimeter of the now disused Ladcastle Quarry before reaching Dobcross station. It then continued to Delph with one additional stop that served the 'Measurements' factory on Delph New Road where they made meters. Trains only called here at the start and end of each working day. Eventually, the line terminated at Delph where a private siding served Messrs Mallalieu's Bailey Mill. There was also a goods shed and coal staithes serving local businesses. The terminus at Delph still stands today as a private residence.

    As a result of dwindling passengers, the last passenger train ran on 30th April 1955, while goods continued to be shunted until 4th November 1963. The eventual closure to the line was due to a recurring financial loss each year. Most of the railway workers either took redundancy or were shifted to Mumps. Finally in 1964, the track was lifted.

    Here are my shots I hope you like them, It was hard to get good lighting in the tunnel but here goes

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    This is one of the air vents

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    Thanks for looking and i hope you enjoyed
     

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