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Report - Lydbrook / Coppet Hill Tunnel + More (April 2015)

TallRich

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
Hi Guys and Girls, sorry I've not posted a report in a while, @Oort keeps beating me to it! (@huey - point taken!)

So here goes!

It was a nice sunny day on Sunday, so Me, @Oort and a couple of non-members thought rather than the proper underground trip we’d planned, a railway tunnel would be more appropriate - we still got our fix of darkness, but also got to see some sun!

The Lydbrook / Coppet Hill Tunnel was in use as part of the Ross to Monmouth line between 1873 and 1965, and passes through Coppet Hill for a total of 630 yards. When heading North to South, the tunnel has a right hand bend, ensuring some really dark bits to feed our need to explore the darkness...

Immediately before the southern portal is a pill box, built as part of the WW2 defenses of the area. Presumably to protect passing trains, the viaduct over the River Wye, and the nearby factory which the railway served. (AEI Cable Works at the time of the war I believe, and HW Smith/Reed/SCA since. please correct me if I’m wrong!)

We had a good look at the viaduct, here’s some history I’ve shamelessly pinched from the interwebs:

Lydbrook Viaduct separated Lydbrook Junction from Lydbrook Tunnel. This viaduct was laid out with the line running out from the abutment to the riverbank on small approach girders supported by some rather flimsy struts before crossing over the Wye on larger girders with bigger support pillars. Once back on the riverbank the approach girders resume to carry the line to the other abutment. The rails were laid on longitudinal baulk timbers (very thick sleepers laid under the rails with occasional timbers keeping them apart so that the rails keep their distance) with flimsy side fences. The public footpath over the river here (which evidently post-dates the line) runs over the main structure alongside the track
We then had a mooch around the factory perimeter – of course we couldn't resist! – it’s looking really bad these days, parts of buildings ripped away completely, and only a few surviving panes of glass in the remaining windows. Still it looked like it was worth a look, so the hunt for access began!

Unfortunately this was not going to happen for us as the whole perimeter fence is still in good shape, and an angry looking security guard complete with matching dog appeared shortly after we finished the perimeter check so we decided to call it a day. (I believe @wellingtonian has bumped into him before!)

All in all though a good day out in the sun!

Now onto the pics!

1) First up, the Northern Portal:
3wdiBo6.jpg


2)
2mcGZNF.jpg


3)
skUCUV1.jpg


4) Bats! Horseshoe ones i believe?
dioRlhT.jpg


5) A nice calcite deposit:
DhFBXgL.jpg


6)
pBTIDvD.jpg


7) Looking to the North, the tunnel winds away to the left:
5U0cn4b.jpg


8) More calcite, pooling up nicely at the foot of this refuge point:
QMjbbR8.jpg


9) Just inside the southern portal, looking into the darkness:
QJLwJOW.jpg


10) I'm proud of the refection I managed to get in the water on the next one!
vNlnsTC.jpg


11)The Southern portal and cutting:
niOdXlk.jpg


12) @Oort holding up the pillbox (or is it the other way around?!?)
C5QFrwE.jpg


13)
IA7dqsM.jpg


14) The Lydbrook Viaduct:
tRBvNkk.jpg


15)
8Ce41Pv.jpg


16) @TallRich "It's this way @Oort"
CYFNbT9.jpg


17) @TallRich "Its not far down, comeon!"
OUB4VYR.jpg


18) @Oort "No fucking way mate, I'm going this way!"
sXL08Cs.jpg


19) The rails once rested on these beams, supported above the Wye by the large support pillars:
67kc52U.jpg


20)
ai47gft.jpg


21) North Side of the Factories, at the side closest to the river, that ladder looks climbable!
gRg2skX.jpg


22) The railway signal post that served the factories loading area:
7KTbdGt.jpg


23) Looking Southbound into the factory buildings:
CcHJ03g.jpg


Thanks for looking, hope it wasn't too pic heavy!!
 

Oort

The Spice Must Flow.
Regular User
#2
Nicely done matey!

Ahhh at least I understand why you wanted to take those shots on the bridge!
 

wellingtonian

Subterráneo
Regular User
#3
Good stuff mate :thumb
Yep did the walk of shame with secca and his dog in close attendance and had a quick chat with the local 5 O............
 

Oort

The Spice Must Flow.
Regular User
#4
Glad we scarpered then, he didn't look like a very happy bunny.
 
Last edited:

Skirrid

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#11
Sadly the bridge (Jan 2016) and the tunnel (Oct 2016) have both been sealed.
There's a bit more info on the bridge here.
P1040353_zps1gkoadll.jpg

P1040361_zpsubkcfd2d.jpg

This is the northern portal. I didn't go to the southern portal, but I have been told it is also sealed.
 

DanS

28DL Member
28DL Member
#13
It's pathetic (as usual). There's a local campaign to re-open the bridge and a new local councillor championing the cause, not holding my breath though. Didn't know the tunnel had been resealed (as it's the other side of the river / closed bridge), doubt whether that'll stay in place for long.
 

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