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Report - - Lees Moor Tunnel - West Yorkshire. August 2021. | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Lees Moor Tunnel - West Yorkshire. August 2021.


Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Lees Moor Tunnel - 1,533yds.

Lees Moor Tunnel is a long abandoned railway tunnel on the former Great Northern Railway line between Queensbury and Keighley in West Yorkshire, The former dual track Tunnel is just north of the Cullingworth, Reports suggest the due to the pitch black darkness inside and the deafening squealing from the wheels on the 1 in 50 radius curve that drivers and traincrew nicknamed it the “Hell Hole” after closure to passenger traffic the tunnels saw brief use in various experiments involving the effects of smoke inhalation and cancer. The railway line was promoted under the Halifax, Thornton & Keighley Railway act from 1873, despite objections form the Midland Railway and the Lanarkshire and Yorkshire Railways the Great Northern bid was successful and the line opened to goods traffic in April 1884, Lees Moor Tunnel took almost 6 years to finish with work starting at the Cullingworth end in 1878 and full completion in 1884, The ground through which the tunnel was bored was almost solid rock and had a radius of 1 in 50 with a decline of 1 in 78 towards Keighley. This meant that a train leaving Cullingworth going to Keighley actually entered the tunnel heading west and when leaving the tunnel at its northern portal it was heading north east. The tunnel was built without ventilation shafts and so became hazardous for crews on slower trains due to greasy rails on the line going up from Ingrow East railway station, a train could take almost ten minutes to clear Lees Moor Tunnel even experienced crews told how they used to lie flat on the cab of the steam engine to try and get more air to breathe. In 1887, it was suggested that the northern portal would be useful as the position of a junction for a new railway over the moors to Colne, The projected railway would head westwards past cross roads and would use overbridges and viaducts to cross the Worth Valley Railway line a 90 degree angle before going on through Stanbury and Trawden and down into Colne. The Great Northern were favoured for this project as their railway climbed so high out of the Worth Valley as opposed to the Midland line which stayed on the valley floor. The entire line from Queensbury to Keighley was closed to passengers in May 1955 with closure to goods traffic in May 1956. After closure, After closure the eastern portal was bricked up and the northern portal was gated so that the tunnel could be used for caravan and motorhome storage. The roof of the tunnel had to be lined with polythene sheeting as no ventilation shafts were present in the construction resulting in a heavy moisture atmosphere…After two failed attempts to gain access we finally secured a set of ladders long enough to safely gain entry ladders had the be extended to nearly 20ft...One of my most memorable tunnels from the West Yorkshire set although once the stored caravans are reached its very repetitive, we had a mooch right up to the northern portal, lots of decaying caravans not sure I’d pay to store one in those conditions, this tunnels is riddled with moisture ingress and spalling brick and stone work lots of missing mortar in the crown no doubt from years of water ingress and little maintenance work, Cable hangers / pulley wheels line the walls throughout and regular brick refuges are present cut into the stone walls. Once we reached the caravans the first dozen or so were in poor condition one had even collapsed its probable that they break redundant caravans within the tunnel, the debris littering the trackbed would more than likely confirm this theory, I stopped photographing at this point as there’s little of interest plus it’s probably not wise to display such things, We tried to photograph the northern portal but access was denied although the portal has been disguised to look more like a factory unit. The amount of water falling from the roof was biblical as can be seen from the photos.

Thanks All.
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Thanks for looking, See you next time...
 

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Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Thank TK. Great set as per. I agree, I wouldn't pay to store a caravan here. Great colours in there :cool:
 

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Thank TK. Great set as per. I agree, I wouldn't pay to store a caravan here. Great colours in there :cool:
Thanks CJ, I’ve a backlog of tunnels to upload but I’m hesitant as don’t want to swamp the forum with endless disused railway tunnels… I’ve noted some do better than others and a lot of regular commentators no longer comment or view which I don’t really understand I guess old railway tunnels aren’t everyone’s thing but need to look at the way of which I present them see if I can make the posts appeal to more! Regarding those caravans there were several high end ones covered in black sooty water and a distinctive damp odour… I wonder if they give them a quick wash before the owners collect so they’re none the wiser :oops: Thanks for the comment it’s appreciated!
 

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I like your reports and histories, but no comments doesn't mean people are not enjoying them
Thanks Westernsultan, Yeah I don’t disagree Im happy to keep uploading I don’t do it for the likes and comments more for my own enjoyment but it’s always nice to receive feedback in any format, Thanks for your comment it’s appreciated :thumb
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Thanks CJ, I’ve a backlog of tunnels to upload but I’m hesitant as don’t want to swamp the forum with endless disused railway tunnels… I’ve noted some do better than others and a lot of regular commentators no longer comment or view which I don’t really understand I guess old railway tunnels aren’t everyone’s thing but need to look at the way of which I present them see if I can make the posts appeal to more! Regarding those caravans there were several high end ones covered in black sooty water and a distinctive damp odour… I wonder if they give them a quick wash before the owners collect so they’re none the wiser :oops: Thanks for the comment it’s appreciated!
Post away, I agree with @westernsultan, I enjoy them. I read the history and enjoy the different textures and the whole look of them. Some just do drains, others culverts, some just the hard to get to places, some the old ruins in the woodlands. Its horses for courses. But I enjoy all. All have a story or history and its seeing the country in places that I wouldn't normally know about. You do tunnels, and are excellent at it. :D

On the caravan note, yewwww !! If they did that, surely the owner would smell the damp & musky smells. Oh well, if that's how they like their vans :eek:lol
 

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Post away, I agree with @westernsultan, I enjoy them. I read the history and enjoy the different textures and the whole look of them. Some just do drains, others culverts, some just the hard to get to places, some the old ruins in the woodlands. Its horses for courses. But I enjoy all. All have a story or history and its seeing the country in places that I wouldn't normally know about. You do tunnels, and are excellent at it. :D

On the caravan note, yewwww !! If they did that, surely the owner would smell the damp & musky smells. Oh well, if that's how they like their vans :eek:lol
Yeah I totally understand that I guess also when I first started posting we were in and out of various lock downs and restrictions so more people at home and on computers etc, It is what it is so they say! Next upload coming soon :thumb
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Really nice report. Silent the last few nights going through a lot of your reports. Can honestly say I have never seen someone do tunnels so well. Credit were credit is due. I ain't done that many but would like to do more. They always make great photos and I like the challenge of long exposures and light painting. Keep up the great work :thumb
 

joggers

28DL Member
28DL Member
These would be useful if any of the lines are to be restored, the pictures are far better than the Engineers would take.
 

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