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Report - Butterhouse Tunnel - Diggle - July 2011


big in japan
Regular User
I was itching to get out and about to stretch my legs after work one eve and ended up tracking down the Butterhouse Tunnel in Diggle.
I've done the main Standege tunnels a good few times in the past but never known of the existence of its smaller brother until I read TheLoneRangers report on it a couple of weeks back (cheers mate). You can't really get that far up it due to the massive amount of infil in the middle, but its a great place to experiment with long exposure shots and light painting.

History (from ForgottenRelics.co.uk)
Butterhouse Tunnel was the first structure encountered by westbound traffic on the Micklehurst loop which was a two-track ‘relief’ railway running along the east side of the Tame Valley, effectively four-tracking the main trans-Pennine route via Diggle. It was mostly used for freight. Laying additional tracks on the original alignment was practical due to the valley’s steep sides and a lack of space.
Its west end has been buried since closure in 1966 but the scruffy-looking eastern portal remains. A fleeting glimpse of it can be caught from passing trains. Most of the top copings have succumbed to time and vandalism.
Constructed in engineering brick, the main lining is seven bricks thick at the crown. Towards the eastern end, a secondary lining has been added in red brick, itself 3-6 bricks thick. Its purpose was presumably for strengthening.
The tunnel is slightly curved and, inside, boasts a patchwork of red and engineering brick, with refuges provided for the platelayers.
Network Rail’s draft Route Utilisation Strategy for Yorkshire & Humber puts forward the reopening of the Micklehurst loop as one solution to current capacity constraints across the Pennines.








and out again....

ta for looking..


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