Report - - Catesby Tunnel, Northamptonshire-July '13 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Catesby Tunnel, Northamptonshire-July '13


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This one has been on our “to do listâ€￾ for a while. We heard it had been sealed, opened and resealed numerous times in the last 6-9 months, so it has spent a while on the back burner. The Wombat got access details from somebody who got in earlier in the year and they needed to swim to get in, so we waited for water levels to drop before this trip could go ahead.
Catesby Tunnel was completed in 1897 on the Great Central Line by T. Oliver & son. Originally planned to be a cutting, a tunnel was penned in due to the owner of Catesby House, Mr Attenborough, throwing a tantrum about the idea of “unsightlyâ€￾ trains being in view from his estate.
The tunnel was built to a rising gradient of 1:176 to the south and it is 27 feet wide and 25 feet and 6 inches tall. Construction on the first air shaft began on the 18th February 1895 and the final brick was laid on 22nd May 1897 making the average build speed an impressive 110 yards a month. Catesby was built with 5 airshafts, 4 being 10 feet in diameter and the fifth being 15 feet, these are to the south as Mr Attenborough didn’t want to see smoke either so, from the north portal there are no airshafts for 1,250 yards. The first train passed through on 25th July 1898 when coal services started.
On 4th January 1906, a London-Manchester Express train had a rail break beneath it which derailed 5 carriages with 50+ passengers on board. Due to the quick actions of the driver and guard, a collision was avoided with an approaching goods train.
Catesby was closed 3rd September 1966 due to the Beeching report.
On arrival we headed for the mentioned access to find it resealed, really good job of it aswel. After 30 mins of poking and prodding we gave up and headed to the other portal hoping for a change in luck and generally to have a nosey. Needless to say we were more successful.






Near the second air shaft I noticed these weird crystals on the floor.




As we were between the 2nd and 3rd portals, The Wombat told me to turn the torch out because he could see people at the portal. I looked round and thought 'Oh fuck, busted'. The 2 people then shouted what sounded like Oi, so we started our walk of shame and headed back. When we got to the portal, it turned out that they were 2 local guys interested on Urbex and came to have a look, no torches though. After a quick chat we headed back into the tunnel with them. On our way I found a phone if anyone has lost one(PM me), a lens cap and a flash.




Looking down the drainage



There was a lot of vapour in this one, more than Ashby. We really struggled to eradicated the mist from our pics.


Beneath the fifth air shaft we found about 5 dead birds and loads of shotgun cartridges on the floor, The Wombat had a pleasure of treading on one. I had to get a few pics.







Dunno who these guys were but they said they've been thinking of joining this site for a while and will do now. Good to meet you both, great laugh today.

Cheers for looking​

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