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


MandyO

28DL Member
28DL Member
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:



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:
View attachment 630553

2)
View attachment 630554

3)
View attachment 630555

4) Bats! Horseshoe ones i believe?
View attachment 630556

5) A nice calcite deposit:
View attachment 630557

6)
View attachment 630558

7) Looking to the North, the tunnel winds away to the left:
View attachment 630559

8) More calcite, pooling up nicely at the foot of this refuge point:
View attachment 630560

9) Just inside the southern portal, looking into the darkness:
View attachment 630561

10) I'm proud of the refection I managed to get in the water on the next one!
View attachment 630562

11)The Southern portal and cutting:
View attachment 630563

12) @Oort holding up the pillbox (or is it the other way around?!?)
View attachment 630564

13)
View attachment 630565

14) The Lydbrook Viaduct:
View attachment 630566

15)
View attachment 630567

16) @TallRich "It's this way @Oort"
View attachment 630568

17) @TallRich "Its not far down, comeon!"
View attachment 630569

18) @Oort "No fucking way mate, I'm going this way!"
View attachment 630570

19) The rails once rested on these beams, supported above the Wye by the large support pillars:
View attachment 630571

20)
View attachment 630572

21) North Side of the Factories, at the side closest to the river, that ladder looks climbable!
View attachment 630573

22) The railway signal post that served the factories loading area:
View attachment 630574

23) Looking Southbound into the factory buildings:
View attachment 630575

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



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:
View attachment 630553

2)
View attachment 630554

3)
View attachment 630555

4) Bats! Horseshoe ones i believe?
View attachment 630556

5) A nice calcite deposit:
View attachment 630557

6)
View attachment 630558

7) Looking to the North, the tunnel winds away to the left:
View attachment 630559

8) More calcite, pooling up nicely at the foot of this refuge point:
View attachment 630560

9) Just inside the southern portal, looking into the darkness:
View attachment 630561

10) I'm proud of the refection I managed to get in the water on the next one!
View attachment 630562

11)The Southern portal and cutting:
View attachment 630563

12) @Oort holding up the pillbox (or is it the other way around?!?)
View attachment 630564

13)
View attachment 630565

14) The Lydbrook Viaduct:
View attachment 630566

15)
View attachment 630567

16) @TallRich "It's this way @Oort"
View attachment 630568

17) @TallRich "Its not far down, comeon!"
View attachment 630569

18) @Oort "No fucking way mate, I'm going this way!"
View attachment 630570

19) The rails once rested on these beams, supported above the Wye by the large support pillars:
View attachment 630571

20)
View attachment 630572

21) North Side of the Factories, at the side closest to the river, that ladder looks climbable!
View attachment 630573

22) The railway signal post that served the factories loading area:
View attachment 630574

23) Looking Southbound into the factory buildings:
View attachment 630575

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

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