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Report - - Clayton Tunnel - West Yorkshire. May 2021. | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Clayton Tunnel - West Yorkshire. May 2021.


Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Clayton Tunnel - May 2021.


Constructed in 1874, the 1,057yd Clayton Tunnel in West Yorkshire was part of the Great Northern Railways Bradford - Queensbury & Bradford - Keighley routes, unfortunately during construction in 1874 two workers suffered fatal injuries caused by an intoxicated colleague in charge of the winding gear on the 4th November, the accident resulted in the two workers falling to their deaths in the lift situated within No.1 shaft, both casualties Thomas Coates (20) and William Elliot (27) are buried in the graveyard of Clayton Parish Church where a headstone commemorates the accident. Built mainly from red brick with a stone base Clayton Tunnel has two air shafts both remain today albeit sealed, the eastern portal has been completely infilled due to fears of subsidence, Opened in 1878 Clayton Tunnel survived until 1965 with passenger traffic finishing a few years before freight in 1955, The line from Bradford to Thornton via Queensbury was opened as a joint venture between the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and the Great Northern Railway between 1876 and 1878. Once out of Bradford, the line was mostly rural and necessitated the construction of many earthworks, viaducts and tunnels. Its hilly nature earned it the nicknames of 'the Alpine route' or 'the switchback' from its loyal drivers. Goods services ceased in 1961, but the line through Clayton remained in use until 28/06/65 for trains serving the goods yard at Thornton. In 2012 having lay dormant for almost 40years, during an annual inspection by Carillion/ Balfour Beatty workmen a cannabis farm was discovered near to No.1 Air Shaft containing some 600 plants which were duly destroyed by the local constabulary upon being reported, the event made most local newspapers at the time...

At some point during 2018 and 2021 Clayton Tunnel has become accessible again, Myself and a good friend found ourselves in the locality of Clayton so decided a quick wander was in order, arriving at the top of the now infilled trackbed of the western portal we both felt confident Clayton was still locked and inaccessible... even pulling the door then seeing the huge padlock we assumed it was a non starter we were just about to walk away when I lent on the door and it swung open (INWARDS!!) Once the adrenaline had settled we made our way in closing the door behind.. not sure why....We both felt an uneasy presence but shrugged it off and made our way through heading for the sealed eastern end, once we’d passed No.2 Air Shaft we began to see debris on the floor at this point we had no clue what lay ahead... upon closer inspection it’s was instantly recognizable we’d discovered a long abandoned weed farm, A sure first for me in a tunnel! Absolutely baffled stood there a bit speechless really...hats of for dedication that’s for sure, some money’s worth of equipment left rotting and rusting away... I was unable to find much information on Clayton Tunnel most sites are heavily focused on the tragic deaths of the two men, a very clean Tunnel inside, little graffiti or litter (other than the weed farming) both air shafts visible heavy water ingress down No.1 shaft and what appears to be a huge collapse just east of this couldn’t work out if it’s the infill or a collapse? I did try to scale this but the rocks were too slippery... I’d estimate 800/850yds of the original 1,057yds remain.

Thanks all as always hope it’s interesting to read & view :thumb


906545

^ Collapsed eastern end.
906546

^Air Shaft No.1 & Some discarding cultivation equipment... Note the large cast iron grate presumably once crowned the air shaft..
906547

^Looking west from Shaft No.1.. not sure what the ladders / plastic are about..
906548

^Looking West.
906549


906550


906551

^Shaft No.2 looking west..
906552

^Again looking west from Shaft No.2
906553


906554


906555


906556


906557


906558

^ Notable change here full stone construction..
906559

^Western portal and some discarded rails & sleepers.
906560

^sole surviving track in Clayton
906561


906562

^Standard “Yeo & Hyde“ tag
906563

^taken from just within the western portal.
906564

^freedom?!
906565

^ Looking our the door shows the scale of the infilled trackbed..
906566

^Western Portal being reclaimed by Mother Nature.

Thanks for looking :D - Not a Tunnel often featured...
 
Last edited:

m4dd13z666

Miss TQ ✌️
28DL Full Member
Not heard of clayton before :p;) .. More great piks and Brill write up :cool:.. Tunnel King strikes again ;) :Not Worthy
 
Last edited:

DavidSplett

28DL Member
28DL Member
Clayton Tunnel - May 2021.


Constructed in 1874, the 1,057yd Clayton Tunnel in West Yorkshire was part of the Great Northern Railways Bradford - Queensbury & Bradford - Keighley routes, unfortunately during construction in 1874 two workers suffered fatal injuries caused by an intoxicated colleague in charge of the winding gear on the 4th November, the accident resulted in the two workers falling to their deaths in the lift situated within No.1 shaft, both casualties Thomas Coates (20) and William Elliot (27) are buried in the graveyard of Clayton Parish Church where a headstone commemorates the accident. Built mainly from red brick with a stone base Clayton Tunnel has two air shafts both remain today albeit sealed, the eastern portal has been completely infilled due to fears of subsidence, Opened in 1878 Clayton Tunnel survived until 1965 with passenger traffic finishing a few years before freight in 1955, The line from Bradford to Thornton via Queensbury was opened as a joint venture between the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway and the Great Northern Railway between 1876 and 1878. Once out of Bradford, the line was mostly rural and necessitated the construction of many earthworks, viaducts and tunnels. Its hilly nature earned it the nicknames of 'the Alpine route' or 'the switchback' from its loyal drivers. Goods services ceased in 1961, but the line through Clayton remained in use until 28/06/65 for trains serving the goods yard at Thornton. In 2012 having lay dormant for almost 40years, during an annual inspection by Carillion/ Balfour Beatty workmen a cannabis farm was discovered near to No.1 Air Shaft containing some 600 plants which were duly destroyed by the local constabulary upon being reported, the event made most local newspapers at the time...

At some point during 2018 and 2021 Clayton Tunnel has become accessible again, Myself and a good friend found ourselves in the locality of Clayton so decided a quick wander was in order, arriving at the top of the now infilled trackbed of the western portal we both felt confident Clayton was still locked and inaccessible... even pulling the door then seeing the huge padlock we assumed it was a non starter we were just about to walk away when I lent on the door and it swung open (INWARDS!!) Once the adrenaline had settled we made our way in closing the door behind.. not sure why....We both felt an uneasy presence but shrugged it off and made our way through heading for the sealed eastern end, once we’d passed No.2 Air Shaft we began to see debris on the floor at this point we had no clue what lay ahead... upon closer inspection it’s was instantly recognizable we’d discovered a long abandoned weed farm, A sure first for me in a tunnel! Absolutely baffled stood there a bit speechless really...hats of for dedication that’s for sure, some money’s worth of equipment left rotting and rusting away... I was unable to find much information on Clayton Tunnel most sites are heavily focused on the tragic deaths of the two men, a very clean Tunnel inside, little graffiti or litter (other than the weed farming) both air shafts visible heavy water ingress down No.1 shaft and what appears to be a huge collapse just east of this couldn’t work out if it’s the infill or a collapse? I did try to scale this but the rocks were too slippery... I’d estimate 800/850yds of the original 1,057yds remain.

Thanks all as always hope it’s interesting to read & view :thumb


View attachment 906545
^ Collapsed eastern end.
View attachment 906546
^Air Shaft No.1 & Some discarding cultivation equipment... Note the large cast iron grate presumably once crowned the air shaft..
View attachment 906547
^Looking west from Shaft No.1.. not sure what the ladders / plastic are about..
View attachment 906548
^Looking West.
View attachment 906549

View attachment 906550

View attachment 906551
^Shaft No.2 looking west..
View attachment 906552
^Again looking west from Shaft No.2
View attachment 906553

View attachment 906554

View attachment 906555

View attachment 906556

View attachment 906557

View attachment 906558
^ Notable change here full stone construction..
View attachment 906559
^Western portal and some discarded rails & sleepers.
View attachment 906560
^sole surviving track in Clayton
View attachment 906561

View attachment 906562
^Standard “Yeo & Hyde“ tag
View attachment 906563
^taken from just within the western portal.
View attachment 906564
^freedom?!
View attachment 906565
^ Looking our the door shows the scale of the infilled trackbed..
View attachment 906566
^Western Portal being reclaimed by Mother Nature.

Thanks for looking :D - Not a Tunnel often featured...
Very nice photos. The rocks definitely aren’t the infill. I think there was a small collapse at this location (lining given way and a small pile on the floor), which at some point has clearly progressed to a full collapse. This therefore leaves a sealed and inaccessible section from here to the original east end. Just as well no one in there at the time!

Looking at Google Earth, there's what looks like a fenced-off area of land just east of where the eastern airshaft can be seen. I'd speculate this is associated with the collapse area. It seems this leaves roughly 700yds of tunnel accessible, with roughly 350yds now beyond the collapse site. This does pose a massive liability, given that it's in-use public land above the tunnel, in particular with housing in close proximity.
 
Last edited:

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Very nice photos. The rocks definitely aren’t the infill. I think there was a small collapse at this location (lining given way and a small pile on the floor), which at some point has clearly progressed to a full collapse. This therefore leaves a sealed and inaccessible section from here to the original east end. Just as well no one in there at the time!

Looking at Google Earth, there's what looks like a fenced-off area of land just east of where the eastern airshaft can be seen. I'd speculate this is associated with the collapse area. It seems this leaves roughly 700yds of tunnel accessible, with roughly 350yds now beyond the collapse site. This does pose a massive liability, given that it's in-use public land above the tunnel, in particular with housing in close proximity.
Thanks for the clarification David, I did suspect it was a collapse given the type of rock on show, As you say a bit concerning when there’s things above ground over that section of tunnel!
 

dave

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
A another superb report so well lit cracking pics its obvious you take tunnel photography very serious, i do love tunnels a while since i did one.
 

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