Report - - Mansfield Road Tunnel - Nottingham - April 2022 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Mansfield Road Tunnel - Nottingham - April 2022


Miss TQ ✌️
28DL Full Member
Mansfield Road Tunnel

Opened: 1898
Clpsed: 1968
1189 Yards Long.

The History:
The Great Central entered Nottingham through a series of tunnels or covered ways, emerging into the open at Victoria Station where a huge cutting offered a floor space of 12¾ acres.
Reaching 58 feet deep, it demanded the excavation of almost 600,000 cubic yards of sandstone.

Immediately to the north, trains entered the 1,189 yard Mansfield Road Tunnel, encountering a reverse curve through its southern half, then a straight section and finally a westerly curve before exiting at Carrington Station.

The gradient throughout is 1:132 and the tunnel reaches a depth below ground of 120 feet where Forest Road East/Mapperley Road crosses its line.

Large enough to accommodate the contractor’s locomotives, 12 foot square bottom headings were progressed from four shafts, in Corporation Yard, the Forest Recreation Ground, Huntingdon Street and at the junction of Mansfield Road/Alfred Street. The operations were watched by crowds of interested spectators, but those shafts affecting the highway proved a great inconvenience to residents, business folk and pedestrians, these were fenced off behind unsightly timber hoardings.

Top headings were driven from break ups between the shafts, the work being carried out from temporary platforms erected over the bottom heading.
The lining was turned in lengths varying from 12 feet 6 inches to 18 feet, the centring being supported on rock left at the sides for this purpose.

As the tunnel passes through bunter sandstone, no built sidewalls were necessary, instead the arch springs off benches cut into the rock.
Throughout the brickwork is built in Old English bond, using common bricks faced in Staffordshire brindles. The arch is 30-34 inches thick, with a rise of 8 feet 6 inches, giving a clearance of 20 feet above rail level.

Every 22 yards, refuges were cut into each side of the tunnel, three botheys, each 10 feet square, were also provided at intervals of ¼ mile for the platelayers to use during rest breaks or for the storage of tools and materials. These incorporate seating ledges.

Although the Great Central’s passenger service ended in 1966, traffic continued to use the tunnel for another couple of years, exiting at its southern end to pass through the developing dereliction of Victoria Station. Today the station site is occupied by a soulless multi storey car park.

The tunnel has been sealed by a concrete blockwall at its northern end, the cutting beyond it having been backfilled.
Access was maintained by means of a shaft.
The south portal, brick built and with its attractive datestone, is being lost to vegetation.

Inside the tunnel is dry and relatively benign. Numerous relics of the railway’s signalling system remain in situ, such as mountings for signal heads, their associated ladders,
A wooden troughing route along the Up side wall and assorted hooks and pulleys.
There is also the typical accumulation of modern detritus.

The Explore:

After hearing this tunnel was open we jumped straight on it, headed down to the area and began searching for the way into the cutting.

At first it didn't look possible with the lower levels of the car park actually being closed but just as we were about to give up for the night an opportunity arrived and we swiftly took it.

I had been keeping my eye on this tunnel for the best part of a year and a half working out access assessing the portal and I'm glad to have finally snapped up an opportunity of seeing it, this tunnel also marks my 100th disused railway tunnel walked and I'm really happy number 100 fell on a tunnel in my hometown that I've wanted to do for so long.

Hope you enjoy the photos:


Southern portal.




There's always an old tesco trolley.


A ladder we believe was used to service the signalling inside the tunnel.


Track chairs.


Close up, love the natural decay in silence.


Very simular to sherwood rise, wouldn't tell the different with a straight shot like this.


Remains of an old railway lanturn.


Another shopping trolley and a plate layers hut.


The plate layers hut without the trolley infront.


More remains of a lanturn


Another plate layers hut


Decaying tealight candle.


This was dated 2003 now that to me feels like it was only last year. But it's actually 19 years ago! How time flys.. Wow :eek:




I just love the pattern and colours in that sandstone


Unsure what this was or how old but it looks like a can of beer.


Schweppes Limeade?


The end of the tunnel the Northern portal.
This is bricked up with a access shaft leading to a manhole.


Crown crest passionade. I don't remember these drinks but it sounds lovely!


The access shaft




Finishing up with a quick Southern portal snap before making our way back out
trying to avoid the security awaiting our arrival ;)

Hope you enjoyed.


Miss TQ ✌️
28DL Full Member
Great report. Love the Huts. Those cans just add interest to who and when was there.
I love seeing the old cans/wrappers in these places and finding the oldest date you can, these cans were far too rusted to see dates.