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Report - Devon & Somerset Railway tunnels

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by wellingtonian, Apr 19, 2014.

  1. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Devon & Somerset Railway tunnels​


    The Devon and Somerset Railway (D&SR) was a cross-country line that connected Barnstaple in Devon, to the network of the Bristol and Exeter Railway (B&ER) at Norton Fitzwarren, near Taunton.

    It was opened in stages between 1871 and 1873. The line length was 43 miles and incorporated 2 viaducts at Waterrow and Castle Hill and 4 tunnels.

    Running through a rural area it never achieved great importance, although it carried through services to the seaside resort of Ilfracombe for a period. The line closed in 1966.

    Travelling in a Westerly direction from Norton Fitzwarren, the first tunnel is the Bathealton Tunnel (440 yards) positioned between the stations of Wiveliscombe and Venn Cross.

    East portal


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    The stonework has been lined with a concrete plaster at some point. Most of the lining has now failed due to the damp conditions.


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    About half way in, and again towards the western portal, are sections that have been reinforced with concrete, leaving egg shaped galvanised tin passages. These would seem to coincide with minor road crossings overhead.


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    Western portal


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    The next tunnel, Venn Cross (246 yards) is about a mile up the line, and at the western end you would pull into Venn Cross station.
    The stonework in this one is still in good condition and it's fairly dry.

    Eastern portal


    173c035e9e3f98d1bda4ffd206a699e8_zps3f12f610.jpg


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    The next tunnel on the line would be Nightcote Tunnel, but at only 44 yards it's more of a long bridge, so I've not included it.

    Castle Hill tunnel (317 yards) is between the stations of South Molton and Filleigh. It's now in the grounds of a private country estate, which wasn't all bad, as once I'd found the portal I was delighted to see no friggin gates to climb!


    South portal


    7e1b4c38255258d9a97635b9bf419f51_zpsf8f6c339.jpg


    Lovely stone in here. Does get a bit wet as you progress though.


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    About two thirds of the way through the shape changes with what looks like some reinforcing stonework, forming a more uniform tunnel shape.


    64cabb738ce9cdce478eb383b767f5e5_zpsc8d51f86.jpg


    North portal


    b07d4b74b709fb63a3c9b730e824d4c5_zpsf84c6933.jpg


    Really enjoyed looking at these. You can bet your life that blood, sweat and tears, literally, went into the construction. Props to the guys that blasted and dug them out.

    Hope you liked my little report.......
     
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  2. Xan_Asmodi

    Xan_Asmodi Cave Monster
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    Very nice, dude! Great to read a decent, comprehensive report.
     
  3. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Thanks for that mate
     
  4. 1nk4

    1nk4 28DL Regular User
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    decent!!!
     
  5. The_Raw

    The_Raw 28DL Regular User
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    That's a really cool report, shot 6 and second from last are nothing less than epic :thumbs
     
  6. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    Superb imagery, might have to take a look when I'm next in Devon!
     
  7. pigdog

    pigdog 28DL Regular User
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    cant beat a good tunnel
     
  8. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Thanks for the comments guys
     
  9. Pinkman

    Pinkman 28DL Regular User
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    Nice bit of tunnel porn action going on there, good work :thumb
     
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