Harecastle South Railway Tunnel, Kidsgrove
Visited By Ojay & AndyJ23uk.
Originally opened in 1848, the North Staffordshire Railway line between Kidsgrove & Tunstall. at 1766 yards long, it is a perfect example of Victorian workmanship.
The tunnel closed in 1965 as it was to tight to accommodate overhead line wires.
For a number of years the Northern Portal has been flooded, but recent works have seen much repaired drainage and the track bed levelled with hardcore, and certainly much easier to traverse.
There looks to be work still ongoing, as there was scaffold erected below 2 of the 3 airshafts that ventilate the tunnel, and a 3rd scaffold located below a section of tunnel, where the brickwork has blistered and bulged.
Getting in presented it's challenges and subsequently my ribs have took a beating once again... I'm getting too old for this shit LOL
We had a good old mooch, including climbing the scaffold to take a closer look at the tunnel repairs.
It had rained quite heavily whilst we were inside, we eventually exited at the South Portal only to discover a nearby combined storm drain had overflowed...literally! We were now rolling 2ft deep in shitty water
We made our way up the track bed, basically to GTFO as it was getting deeper by the minute. I then noticed a distinct smell of 'Fresh' which remarkably Andy couldn't smell :confused
I noticed that further up, the bank had partially collapsed due to excessive storm overflow, naturally I climbed up to take a closer look, and to find out where the 'Fresh' was coming from...
Up top was an open Victorian storm drain, which ran parallel with the rail line, before disappearing into a 3ft brick arch. The flow was fast and I had no intention of going inside, as it quickly dropped down into oblivion about 4ft inside.
In your tunnels......
Further in although drained, was still quite damp for a couple of hundred yards, with various un-safe sections cordoned off
Some strange looking fungal growth on the wall
Scaffold below 2 of the 3 airshafts
More scaffold, no access...Pffft... looks like further investigation is required
Emergency repairs, this is where the tunnel wall had blistered & bulged
Finally we reached the South Portal, cue our exit..WTF?
This is where the flooding had occurred
The drain responsible for the sudden overflow
Thanks for looking
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