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Report - Queensbury Railway Tunnel, Halifax, 28-3-10

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by cardiffrail, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. cardiffrail

    cardiffrail 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    The Queensbury Tunnel was one of the most significant engineering achievenments on the 'Queensury Lines', a group of three railway lines connecting Keighley, Halifax and Bradford. The routes were built and operated by the Grat Northern and also the Lancashire and yorkshire Railway Companies and were opened in 1882. Queensbury Tunnel was completed in 1879. The routes suffered from low usage, steep gradients and flooding was an issue within Queensbury Tunnel. The network was closed in 1955, 9 years before Beeching got his hands on the railways.

    The Queensury tunnel is 2501 yards long, completely straight and drops to the south. The strines cutting at the south end has been blocked off, resulting in flooding of the cutting to above the portal of the tunnel at its southern end. According to various reports, the tunnel is variably flooded to between 400 and 800 yards of its length. The tunnel is 430 feet below the hillside at its deepest point, presumably where it passes beneath Queensbury village, which directly overlies the tunnel.

    Since abandonment, the tunnel was used by Leeds University for some physics experiments, although this does not appear to have happened recently.

    There have been proposals to backfill the tunnel with landfill, however as yet this has not taken place. Inside the tunnel, there is evidence of survey work with areas highlighted with spray paint, including a 'fill line' just below the invert level of the roof. Also, reflective chainage markers have recently been placed in the tunnel, supplementing the older sprayed on numbers. Chainage is measured from the north end.

    As the tunnel is blocked off at one end, there is no airflow through the tunnel. Consequently, the air inside the tunnel is very stale. This is immediately noticeable on entering. I got as far as chainage marker 86, (1900 yards) before the air became very poor, once I got a waft of sulphide gas (bad eggs) I decided that it was not a good idea to go further. This decline in air quality must be recent as there are reports where people have gone further.

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    Air shaft 1, poor visibility due to spray from the torrent of water flowing down the shaft. The sound of this can be heard 400 yards away at the entrance to the tunnel.

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    Survey work

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    Frame for the 'gong' signal that would ring to alert train drivers that they were approaching the end of the tunnel

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    Second airshaft

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    Portal of the nearby Clayton Tunnel, reached down a very steep bank that looked rather slippery after the recent rain.

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    #1 cardiffrail, Mar 31, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010

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