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Report - Kettleness & Sandsend Tunnels, North Yorkshire, Jan '11

OneLife

Live it!
28DL Full Member
#1
While in the area me and the missus took a walk along the disused Kettleness and Sandsend railway tunnels on the old Whitby to Redcar & Middlesbrough railway line.

Built between 1874 and 1883 the northern tunnel is Kettleness and is only fairly short at 300 yds. Sandsend to the south is approximately a mile. There is only a short (if fairly overgrown) walk between the two.

Leading out from Kettleness to the cliff is a collapsed but still passable service tunnel which comes out on to the cliff face. Sandsend has two of these still standing but they were very muddy and wet so I did not make it out along these due to a lack of suitable foot wear. I will probably revisit with some wellies when in the area again.

My Grandad actually used to work the locomotives that passed along these lines. He remembers that on one of the tunnels there was only a 3 inch clearance between the engine funnel and the roof of the tunnel! Apparently it used to cause the train to fill with smoke as the the smoke was pushed around it with nowhere else to go. Good job the HSE weren't around to see that one!

The line closed on the 5th May 1958, when it was reported by British Rail that there was a need for £58000 worth of maintenence, for a line that was only really used to its potential on summer Saturdays.


On to the pictures:

The Northern cutting and portal of Kettleness tunnel

Kettlesandstun003.jpg


Looking in to the Northern end

Copy-Kettlesandstun012.jpg


The exit out to the cliff face from Kettleness tunnel

Kettlesandstun025.jpg


Walking between two disused railway tunnels, half way up a rather large cliff and what do you find - of course, a random wheel barrow! This is the (partly collapsed) North portal of Sandsend tunnel

Kettlesandstun086_01.jpg


Looking down one of the service tunnels leading off to the cliff face

Kettlesandstun112-1.jpg


Within Sandsend

Copy-Kettlesandstun099-1.jpg


Rubble left over from the capping of a vent shaft

Kettlesandstun101.jpg


All of the drains in the tunnel were taking away ground water pouring in through the roof and vent shafts, apart from this one that was strangely spewing rust filled mud and clay back in to the tunnel

Kettlesandstun109.jpg


Another service tunnel, again too muddy for the available footwear

Kettlesandstun127_01.jpg
 

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