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Report - Macro, Bradford - Drain - 06/10/07

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by LittleMike, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. LittleMike

    LittleMike Do. Find. Drains.
    28DL Full Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Phew, an absolutely amazing day today with D_D_T from uer.ca He contacted me a few days ago about doing some drains in Bradford as I had mentioned it in another thread. Seems like we both had the same drain in mind so off we went to check it out. Wow, we were really struggling to come up with some words to describe what we found, all I've managed to come up with so far are 'epic' 'untold' and 'pornographic'.

    I'll try to describe the route we took but there was so much I can't really remember it all. Sorry if it's a bit long, but it's not even describing 1% of what we saw! We spent about 8 hours down there I think :)

    Starting at mid morning, our original POE....err wasn't, but thanks to D_D_T's good work we had another way in. This drain kicks ass right from the word go. A stream falls down a couple of impressive waterfalls into a huge brick infall. As we rounded the corner the first view of the gaping tunnel down below was simply breathtaking. To the left there was already a massive CSO overflow chamber and we hadn't even entered the drain yet!

    Inside, the drain starts off as an impressive brick tunnel then soon changes to twin concrete box pipes about 8x8ft each. Ahead there is another brick section before the first major junction. This was a little bit tricky, the main tunnel continues to the left, but only after going through a really low section that wasn't really passable. Instead we used some rope to navigate a slide down to an overflow tunnel. We couldn't get past this point as the depth increases to 1.5m, but it was possible to climb back up to the main tunnel on the left so we continued our journey that way. Note there was also a CCTV camera here, although we managed to dodge that by keeping to the edges. The right hand overflow branch is in full view however, so need to keep that in mind when we revisit.

    The next section involves an incredible mish mash of different styles. There is everything from brick arches, to perpendicular brick arches, wooden and steel ceilings, and one particularly dodgy bit where there is a nasty tunnel collapse. There is a ridiculous amount of debris so walking soon became quite slow and difficult.

    Eventually we surfaced again into daylight for a short while. We took a small break to examine the map and find out where we were, then headed back into the underworld. About halfway along our journey (2-3km) is the best feature of the drain. It's a ridiculously massive chamber with a beautiful vaulted ceiling. Quite simply the most incredible place I've ever been. Here another branch joins the main tunnel, we followed it up for a short way, it was mostly a 12ft concrete pipe and we soon got bored with it after seeing so much awesome brick :)

    Continuing down the main pipe there is brick, brick and more brick and the previously big tunnel had now become absolutely huge. At one point we were walking down a 10ft brick arched tunnel...only there was 4 (!?) of those running in parallel :eek:

    The tunnel continues for a further 2-3km, with occasional open channels providing some welcome fresh air. One of these turned out to actually be a section where the tunnel had completely collapsed.

    Reaching the end of our trip, the last section of tunnel is possibly the most spectacular in terms of size. Huge 20ft oval brick tunnels times 2. Absolutely beautiful. Having roughly measured our route on google earth, I think we walked at least 5.5km each way. The original plan was to walk to the end, then take photos on the way back. Unfortunately D_D_T wasn't feeling too great, and we were both completely knackered towards the end so I have ridiculously few photos. Will be heading back ASAP for a proper photo session!

    Oh, I forgot to mention that there were at least 4 (we lost count) branches that joined the main trunk that need exploring. And so many sidepipes that we completely lost count. We explored a couple of the side pipes and found in one of them a strange round room with a gloomy pool of death (unknown depth), and a ridiculously sized CSO chamber.

    Again, rubbish that we didn't get many photos, but we will be back VERY soon to do it properly now we have some much more handy access points so stay tuned :)

    D_D_T inspecting the giant infall

    This was the random room with the pool of death down one of the side pipes

    No matter what happened I had to get some pics of the vaulted ceilings. Didn't spend long on them so they aren't great, but should show the scale at least.

    One of the two parallel tunnels right at the end.

    Finally we made it! D_D_T on the left, me on the right. This was before the reality of the long walk back had hit home!

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  2. paulpowers

    paulpowers Massive Member
    Regular User

    Jun 15, 2011
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    I was up Bradford last week but it was pissing down :(
  3. UrbanCaving

    UrbanCaving Sewer Rat
    Regular User

    Apr 24, 2012
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    fucking rain ay
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