Report - - East Norton Tunnel, Leicestershire, July 2020 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - East Norton Tunnel, Leicestershire, July 2020


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East Norton tunnel (also known as Hallaton tunnel) was one of three tunnels built on the new Great Northern and London North Western Joint Railway (GN & LNW) line.
The other two being Clawson or Hose tunnel and Ingarsby or Thurby tunnel. It is around 144 yards (131.6m) in length and about a mile north of the tunnel would have been East Norton Station. The station was next to what is now the A47.
Further north would have been a thirteen arch viaduct which was demolished in 2001 due to health and safety. Southbound trains leaving the tunnel began the long descent into the Welland valley.

Its portals are impressive, exhibiting an arch face of six brick rings. Stubby brick wing walls curve through 90 degrees to stand parallel to the trackbed at their ends. The buttresses, string course and copings are all stone.
Inside, the tunnel is lined throughout in red brick, with deep refuges provided at both sides. These had white plates fixed to the lining around them to highlight their position to retreating platelayers. The east sidewall still hosts regular clusters of telegraph wire supports.
Regular passenger services along the route were never well patronised and ceased on 7th December 1953. Goods traffic was more successful, continuing to encounter East Norton Tunnel until the section through it was closed on 4th November 1963. Since then, its northern approach cutting has been backfilled.

The explore:

During a packed weekend with @Punk we visited Easton Norton tunnel. Earlier in the day we’d hit Ingardsby tunnel. I’d gone arse over tit down the hill and we’d met 4 or 5 kids who thought we were ’the feds’ as we walked towards them inside the tunnel. When do the feds have their music blaring and joints hanging out their mouths, I do not know? Anyway, that’s another story.

We pulled up at the end of a farm track looking over the Leicestershire hills. Now these are beautiful views if you’ve never seen them, I’d recommend a visit. We headed into the woods a down a track and spurring off, it increasingly got more overgrown. Heading down the slope we eventually started to see the portal lip. We were above and looking down, we judged where to head down onto what would’ve been the track. Walking round the edge, we eased ourselves down the slope grabbing trees as we went, not wanting a repeat the muddy arse at Ingardsby earlier in the day.

Through the trees, we were faced by the huge curve that was the Southern portal.


It was certainly impressive. As I mentioned earlier, gorgeous brickwork.


Heading into the tunnel, you’re greeting with fencing and hay bales. Once a farmer held cattle here and stored machinery. There’s still bits left as you’ll see.




Heading further in, there’s a plough/scraper type tool nicely placed in the centre.


Alcoves remain from the old tunnel.


Reaching the Northern edge, the ground starts to get wetter with standing water caused from the rains off the surrounding fields, diverted by the back filled section, and a small spring just outside of the portal.


In the shadows sits a trailer for animal transport and an old tractor. My photos are super over exposed because of the sunlight but you get the idea.


The roof of the Northern portal is starting to crumble and show its age. Bricks are missed and cracks are appearing.



Heading out of the Northern portal the spring glows orange from a high iron content.


Looking back South, you can just about see the light.


We trudged back the bank and up the hill back to the car as it started to rain. Another tunnel ticked off the list. A quick report with less pictures than normal but I hope you enjoyed nature taking this back as much as I did.


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Really nice tunnel and great set of pictures. Done quite a few tunnels round here but not this one so deffo putting it on my list.


Check out my Instagram: @ChillsSnaps
28DL Full Member
Really nice tunnel and great set of pictures. Done quite a few tunnels round here but not this one so deffo putting it on my list.
Thanks Hughie! There’s a lot of history around the site. After a quick dig I found part of a Leicester beer bottle so this may be a rich site for bottle digging as most railway lines are. Also found a muntjac skull which is always interesting!



28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
the tool in the centre is a finger mowing bar, to cut grass with a tractor using the PTO as power source

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