Report - - Drewton Tunnel, Eastern Portal, Hull - June 2018 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Drewton Tunnel, Eastern Portal, Hull - June 2018


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hi all! Back again with another report this time on one that has been discovered by a few in the past so this report is me just going over what other people have already found, but hopefully with a bit more depth! Unfortunately though, no video this time as I was the only camera operator out of the two of us. In addition, since my girlfriend was the only one with me she's not a great climber, so I decided to only push about 100 yards in from the entrance and take some pictures. Next time we'll be heading to the Western Portal and heading through from there!

Please enjoy. :thumb

The Hull, Barnsley & West Riding Junction Railway and Dock Company had a title as gargantuan as its goal. To save time, it was later renamed the Hull & Barnsley Railway. With the two most sensible routes already occupied by the NER, it chose to cut its new line through the heart of the Wolds, linking the Yorkshire coalfields with its own deepwater dock.

William Shelford, the line’s engineer, mustered all the technology that the late nineteenth century had to offer. Construction work on Alexandra Dock was a round-the-clock operation thanks to electric lighting - the first engineering project in Britain to benefit from it. Pneumatic drills made tunnelling easier. Steam navvies were deployed. But finance proved as taxing as the terrain and the company was struggling to make ends meet even before the line was completed.

Five-and-a-half million pounds later, the 53 mile route was ready for business. The first goods traffic pressed the sleepers on 20th July 1885 with the passenger service welcoming customers a week later. One of the last substantial pieces of Britain’s railway jigsaw was in place.

The 12 mile section through the Wolds was a back-breaker and contributed significantly to the line’s steep average cost of £59,000 per mile. Cuttings and tunnels had to be excavated, but the area’s loose chalk proved difficult and frequent landslips occurred. More than 8,000 men helped build the line, living in camps and rioting regularly. The largest of these temporary communities - boasting shops and a mission chapel - was at Riplingham on top of Drewton Tunnel.

Hull-bound trains emerged from 2,114 yards of gloom at the line’s summit, whilst an 83 feet deep cutting - known by the navvies as ‘Big Hill’ - concealed their passage down the other side. Little Weighton sat proudly between these two immense achievements.

Drewton Tunnel.jpg

This was a quick map drafted up by me that shows the approximate route of the tunnel and each entrance with a distance measurement included.​

The Explore
This part was actually accidental, and it wasn't until we got to the tunnel and a LOT of Googling we found something like this. We was actually looking for vehicle graveyards in the surrounding villages near farms and noticed one of the five ventilation shafts sticking out of the ground. "The fuck is that?" I asked. My other half shrugged at me, "Google it," she says. Yeah alright, thanks Einstein. The entirety of getting to the Eastern Portal was comical, absolutely ridiculous in fact...

1. Firstly, we had to park in the village to the east because there was no where to park. Fancy pulling over on a 60mph road with no stopping points? Heh, nah. No thanks. So, we decided to park in the village and backtrack on foot. Yes this meant walking right next to the road on a grass verge and sometimes walking on the road where there was no traffic (see picture below).


2. Secondly, we had to hop a fence on to what I can only assume was private property (a large house next door to a huge open field). Alas, we did it and just as we did we noticed a woman mowing the lawn. Sneaking like Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell we slipped past and then on to our third obstacle because we, literally, wasn't out of the woods.

3. Next was a barbed wire fence... Surrounded by horses. After much deliberation we thought "fuck it" and went for it. My SO isn't the quickest so I was trying to help anyway I could until she got annoyed with me ;) From there we pushed into an undisturbed forest (until today) where we came to a large mound which was our next obstacle.

4. And of course, when we got there, there was a farm about 200yds from us which had clear view of us on their land. Great. So again we Sam Fisher'd it towards the Eastern Portal.

It felt like a great accomplishment finding it though. I was busy photographing some trailers (which you'll see below) when our other half exclaimed, "Joe, come check this. I've found something," so here I am plodding over after taking a few more pictures and I'm in awe. I'm straight down there. We had no idea something like this was nearby (without the vent shaft Googling part) so it came as a surprise. Absolutely astounding to think trains once ran through this tunnel delivering various goods and transporting people too.

If someone ever reads this in the future and you're thinking about doing it, plan ahead otherwise your other half will be nagging your ear out. :banghead

On the way back, we just did the reverse but the lady who was lawn mowing before? Decides to have a garden party! YAY! And what colour top did our lass wear? YELLOW! Fucking brilliant. So we just went for it and hoped for the best. I guess it's good I'm able to write this report huh? We amazingly didn't get caught.

Anyway, enough yabber. Please enjoy these images!


1. This was one of the trailers I was photographing while my other half wandered off and found the tunnel. Thought it was interesting how this was just left here, completely in ruin. Like, what happened? Who knows... Except the people who own the farm. They probably know.


2. More abandoned machinery.


3. Another trailer. I checked what was inside this and it was empty, as to be expected.


4. Whaddya know more trailers.​


5. This is the first thing we saw. I honestly couldn't believe my eyes.


6. Inside the tunnel just past the gate you see below. Unfortunately couldn't go much further since I was with the other half.


7. Looking back at the entrance, covered in a fair amount of foliage.


8. There was a light at the end of the tunnel, but I thought it seemed a bit close to be the exit? Will definitely need to scope it out next time!​


9. Just at the gated entrance.


10. Another view up on the hill, about half way up.​

If you live in the area close to Hull, I'd definitely recommend going here. It's definitely an "out there" explore and looks great especially considering its age. I'm not the first, and certainly won't be the last to be here but it's an enjoyable experience.

Signing off,
- Kraxous


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Good report that mate. Sounds like you had a laugh trying to find it. Give me a shout if you go back. There’s a much more direct route :)
Thanks mate!

Yeah man total ballache to get there, but was funny as fuck watching our lass bomb it across a field like so that was probably the highlight (barring the tunnel).

We gave up on the graveyard where you suggested! We found ourselves literally check every farm so we decided to take the scenic route home. :)

Good report mate, enjoyed this
Thanks man!


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
did you go both the eastern and western portal?

Me and a couple mates went nearer winter and one of the lads got caught in sinking mud at the quarry side, upto his knee in thick mud was hilarious!
Last edited:


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
This happened to me only yesterday

It’s quite easy to get in the side shown in the photos, we managed to climb the fence surrounding the area then ran past the houses’ garden and over the main metal fence. Really shoddy on the inside now

This was in August last year - was bloody freezing down there and really musky. Can see all the brick work has caved in on the sides was pretty eerie.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
What is the easiest route to either portal without having to play commando to avoid detection? Want to visit this one before it fills with mud completely.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
What is the easiest route to either portal without having to play commando to avoid detection? Want to visit this one before it fills with mud completely.
through the quarry is the easiest but i wanted to walk all way so started at other end but watch out for the farmer bloke he let my tyre down lol


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I always carry a air compressor in the car so he can go ahead
he came accross all nice he ust have waited 4 hours cos thats how long we was in there.I know it must have been him cos i pumped it up at nearest garage and its never lost any since.You cant realy miss him they drive round on one of them 4wd buggy things.Hes the game keeper aswell aparantly if you go in quarry end tho you be ok think its shut on a sunday dont forget ya wellys lol

Similar threads