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Report - - Butternab Tunnel - July 2021. | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Butternab Tunnel - 256 Yards.

The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway’s Meltham Branch was constructed during 1864 it wasn’t completed until August 1868 this was mainly due to landslides, the first train to pass through the 256 yard Butternab Tunnel was mixed goods this was during mid August of ‘68 unfortunately within three weeks of opening the line suffered a severe landslide meaning traffic didn’t resume until July 1869 when passenger traffic began. The single-track branch boasted three intermediate stations - Woodfield, Netherton and Healey House - although the former only survived for one month in the summer of 1874! To the south of Dungeon Wood the single line entered a lengthy cutting with stone retaining walls on its approach to Butternab Tunnel which curved to the west on a radius of around 20 chains, Trains emerged 256 yards later into a "spectacular gorge", as one newspaper described it, The portals are diminutive but distinctive, with the stonework of the headwall's central portion radiating out from the centre rather than being in courses. Either side of the entrance at springing level are projecting quandrant-shaped stones; adjacent to these are buttresses. Below the parapet is a semicircular string course.
Judging by the secondary ring face visible at the portal, it would seem that the tunnel's lining of engineering brick - five rings thick - was inserted at a later date, the original lining probably being stone. It can only be presumed that the district engineer was prompted to embank on such a potentially-disruptive course of work by considerable ground movement. Despite this, there is still some evidence of bulging today. The lining has regular refuges built into both sidewalls the gradient through the tunnel is 1:60 climbing to the south water penetration conspires with the blockwall to result in standing water at the north end. At the other, the former owner of the house now built on the trackbed constructed living accommodation in the tunnel, comprising a living/games area, kitchen and bedroom on a mezzanine level. Access into the tunnel is via a laundry room, The Meltham branch's passenger service was cut on 23rd May 1949 but goods trains continued to serve local businesses until April 1965. Around three-quarters of a mile of trackbed has been secured as a footpath known as the Meltham Greenway. The local council aspires to further extensions but these are complicated by development on the alignment and landowner issues, not to mention funding. Not the easiest of places to get inside unless your extremely thin! Just managed to squeeze through the gap in the bars then ended up with wet feet... Not the most inspirational of places inside was a bit strange seeing the door into the Air BnB, Glad nobody opened the door although I could see light shining through the gaps around the doorway... made a swift exit afterwards.

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^^^^Southern Portal.
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^^^^Looking through in access grate down the cutting.
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^^^^Inside the southern end, Flooded.
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^^^^Looking north from the southern portal.
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^^^^Reflecting on things.
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^^^^About 90yards from the south portal.
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^^^^60yards from the south portal.
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^^^^Natural light about 50yards in.
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^^^^Curving away 150yards in from the south.
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^^^^The Leaning Fishplate.
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^^^^One of many refuge, I think the No.4 relates to Chains..
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^^^^120yards from the south looking towards the north.
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^^^^Rear of the Air BnB visible.
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^^^^No.10
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^^^^South Facing.
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^^^^Rear of the Air BnB.. Knock Knock....
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^^^^Parting gift as we left....

Thanks All, As ever I hope this has been well received, made for some nice images although most are very similar to each other.

Thanks.
 

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m4dd13z666

Miss TQ ✌️
28DL Full Member
First comment for the second time in a row.. Anyone would think I'm stalking o_O:D , Brill piks as usual, especially the last and the natural light.. and a Brill explore.. That hole didn't look as tho we were getting through!. :cool::thumb
 

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
First comment for the second time in a row.. Anyone would think I'm stalking o_O:D , Brill piks as usual, especially the last and the natural light.. and a Brill explore.. That hole didn't look as tho we were getting through!. :cool::thumb
Was a quality explore, Standard 3 tunnel day trips o_O Shame I ripped my new “explore” coat….:mad:
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Fab report. I find the air b&b very strange and a little weird. Who would buy & use that. Just bizarre. Brill photos are per. TK nailed another one. Sorry to hear about your coat, must of been a tight squeeze. :cool:
 

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Fab report. I find the air b&b very strange and a little weird. Who would buy & use that. Just bizarre. Brill photos are per. TK nailed another one. Sorry to hear about your coat, must of been a tight squeeze. :cool:
It was a very tight squeeze :D I think I may have put a few pounds on over Lockdown! Thanks for your comment CJ appreciated as ever:thumb
 

Wevsky

A Predisposed Tourist
Regular User
Good reportage mate, do love a good tunnel, im saddened though i didnt get first comment, cos thats really important obviously ;)
 
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gingerspeedfreak

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great report and pics, as always. It is interesting to see part of the tunnel being repurposed in this way. Better than just being filled in and forgotten I suppose.
 

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