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Report - Bowshank Tunnel, Scottish Borders, October 2012

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by Bovine, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Bovine

    Bovine 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

    Oct 18, 2008
    Likes Received:
    The North British Railway Company built a line between Edinburgh and Hawick which opened in 1849. Extended to Carlisle in 1862, it became known as "The Waverley Line". The route was over difficult and remote country, resulting in many steep gradients and curves, plus two tunnels. The line closed to passengers on 5 January 1969, but freight continued between Hawick and Edinburgh until 28 April due to existing contracts. By early 1972, almost all the line had been lifted, just a stub at the north end remaining to serve Lady Victoria Colliery.
    From Galashiels northwards, the A7 road, railway and the Gala Water river share the bottom of the valley About 3Km from Galahiels, the railway was forced to tunnel under a spur of hillside, creating the 249 yard long Bowshank Tunnel. At each side the Gala Water was crossed, just two of the many times this had to be done.
    In June 2006, THe Waverley Line(Scotland) act was passed, authorising the re-building of a 35 mile stretch of line through to Tweedbank and this will use this tunnel. Along the route, preparatory works are taking place, in readiness for tracklaying, so it was important to try to see this tunnel before it was too late.

    The Northern Portal and double lattice girder bridge.

    The Gala Water

    Graf is everywhere

    This inscription records a flood level up to the trackbed in 1891!

    Looking southwards

    South end

    South Portal in "rusticated concrete"

    A farmer had been using the tunnel for animals, hence this trough, handy for us bovines!

    Looking north, with openings already sealed up and expanding foam blobs protruding from the brickwork

    The inner radius of the tunnel was widened to include small store rooms, too small to photograph inside

    Inside was empty except for a lone (rail) chair!

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