Report - - Haddon Tunnel, Derbyshire - June '15 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Haddon Tunnel, Derbyshire - June '15


Irregular Member
Regular User
Explored with @The Wombat


The Midland Railway route linking Derby and Manchester through the Peak was a major route linking the Midlands to the North. The railway was not conceived as a single entity by one company, but was in fact the result of the ambitions of several separate companies who for their own individual reasons, built the line at different times over a period of about 20 years.

The first section of the route between Derby and Ambergate was opened to traffic on 11th May 1840 as part of the “North Midland Railway” line to Rotherham via Chesterfield. Northwestwards from Ambergate to Rowsley was constructed by a company with the lengthy title of the “Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midland Junction Railway” (M.B.M. & M.J.R). Eventually in 1871 the M.B.M. & M.J.R. was absorbed into the Midland Railway system. Before this date the Midland had already constructed a line from Rowsley to Manchester, although this did not follow the route intended by the M.B.M. & M.J.R. owing to the opposition of the Duke of Devonshire to the idea of a railway through Chatsworth Park. In its efforts to gain a through route to Manchester, the Midland Railway had surveyed a number of possible routes to achieve this end. The section of the Rowsley-Manchester line was commenced in September 1860. Heading north from the new Rowsley station was Haddon Hall, ancestral home of the Duke of Rutland. The John Manners, 7th Duke of Rutland, was unwilling to allow the railway to cross his estate on the surface, so the company was forced to go underground. Haddon Tunnel at 1058 yards is the longest between Matlock and Buxton. It is in fact a covered way being on average only 12 feet deep. A cutting would have sufficed to preserve the view from Haddon Hall, but the Duke did not want to see smoke and steam rising above his stately gardens.


John Manners, 7th Duke of Rutland

The Duke used Bakewell station for boarding and alighting from trains and it was therefore a far more grand affair than one would expect of a small market town. His coat-of-arms was built into stonework on the platform façade.

1st January 1923 marked the first major change in the administration of the railways in the Peak District. From that day the railways of England were grouped into four companies. As far as the Peak District was concerned, the lion’s share went to the L.M.S. From a local point of view nothing much changed.


Southbound train leaving Haddon Tunnel, 1961

In 1962 came the publication of “The Reshaping of Britain’s Railways”, more commonly called the “Beeching Report”. The recommendations of this weighty volume included the closure of two-thirds of the unprofitable lines, so as to leave the remaining system to pay its way. The first implementation of the report’s proposals was to be the closure of both of the Buxton branches to passengers. Freight traffic was diverted via Chesterfield before local passenger services ceased in March 1967, with the closure of the following stations: Millers Dale, Bakewell, Rowsley, Darley Dale and Matlock Bath. However, through trains from St. Pancras to Manchester continued for another year.

From that time, Haddon Tunnel was no longer required.

Following closure, the trackbed and tunnel was reincorporated into the Haddon Estate. The long campaign by Peak Rail and others culminated in a feasibility study by Derbyshire County Council in 2004, the Haddon Estate being a major opponent of the plan. To this day, Peak Rail still plans to extend their heritage rail services via both "Rowsley railway station" and a proposed "Haddon" Halt towards Bakewell. This would require additional restoration of the old tunnel itself and both Rowsley and Coombes Road Viaducts, plus reinstating the Bakewell station site to its original condition by the year 2016. Although, at this point, it doesn't look like its on schedule.

This was the second explore of the day with my old partner in crime, Mr William T. Ombat. We had previously visited here in December 2012(http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/haddon-tunnel-bakewell-derbyshire-dec12.t76227), but I felt I would get better pictures in summer time. When entering the tunnel, we realised that this was going to be a challenge in a photographical sense, due to the dense mist inside. I had forgotten how colossal Haddon is compared with other tunnels I have visited.
Great day out, that was sadly cut short by Mrs Punk deteriorating in hospital being admitted to hospital two days before hand. But a massive thank you to her for insisting I went out with Wombat despite her condition.

















Cheers for Looking :thumb

The Wombat

Mr Wombat
28DL Full Member
had a great day out
And nice to visit this old gem again :)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Nicely done mate :thumb

Bastards to light with the mist properly, had the same with Drewton last week :(

Some impressive airshafts in there.

Sorry to hear about Mrs punk ...best wishes

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Looks a cracking tunnel, nicely captured too :thumb


Irregular Member
Regular User
Cheers for the positive feedback guys :thumb

Nicely done mate :thumb

Bastards to light with the mist properly, had the same with Drewton last week :(
This was a real bitch to light up, the 4k lumen jus reflected back at us

very nice,
the gap between tunnels is stunning (no 8)
Excellent report man, ace photos but shot number 8 is effing fantastic :thumb
The gap is what draws me to this tunnel. It is also why I want to visit in the summer, the overgrowth rewarded my insistence

It's always good to see this one come up
It is a beauty, on par with Catesby


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
did you find the spanner thats still hanging up from when the line was open?


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hi, im a documentary cameraman looking for decent places to explore as am shooting my next documentary for college and would be really grateful if someone could show us round these tunnels and maybe give a quick interview/ spout some interesing facts????

Similar threads