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Report - old warden railway tunnel, march '11

underground girl

28DL Member
28DL Member
#1
this is my first report, so please let me know where im going wrong and how to improve :)

i know the tunnel has been done a lot on here, but i didnt want to start somewhere too dodgy

History

Permission for the tunnel was gained by the Midland railway on 4th August 1853, and the tunnel was built between 1853 and 1857, opening on 8th May. It is perfectly straight and 882 yards long, and lined with 6-thick blue engineering bricks. It was constructed using the cut-and-cover method. There is a slight downhill gradient to the North to allow drainage. The line ran between Bedford and Hitchen, via Cardington, Southill, Shefford and Henlow. The greensand ridge near Shefford created difficulties in contructing the line, so the tunnel and the mile long cutting to the North were built, with labourers’ lives lost in the process. This section was single track. Passenger figures per day in 1952 are 40 from Shefford, 112 from Henlow and 168 from Cardington. The only industry in the area was the gasworks and scrapyard at Shefford and a quarry at Henlow. The line was closed to passenger trains on 1st January 1962 and to goods trains on 28th December 1964, succumbing to the Beeching Axe. The tracks were lifted shortly after.



there is still old cars and stuff like gearboxes lying around by the fencing at the north end of the tunnel. the bricked up wall is looking very colourfull these days, and access isnt exactly a problem

oldwarden1.jpg


some of the brickwork is in less than perfect condition, and in one area fairly near the entrance, the fallen bricks had been used for a load of tea-light candles. there were also spent rockets lying about. must have been quite pretty

oldwarden5.jpg


you can clearly see how the tunnel has been lined with a layer of different bricks

oldwarden7.jpg


there are areas of yellow streaking the walls in places, formations seem to build up so much quicker than in caves.

oldwarden17.jpg


you can clearly see the innards of the bricks where they have fallen apart

oldwarden19.jpg


there's some other weird formations in places on the walls too

oldwarden22.jpg


some really nice gower pools on the ground

oldwarden15.jpg


oldwarden16.jpg


in some places the walls are lines with thick black fuzz

oldwarden11.jpg


oldwarden30.jpg


and some pustular stuff

oldwarden9.jpg


oldwarden31.jpg



aside from formations growing all over the place, there is very little left in the tunnels. there is still a hook in one of the recesses

oldwarden25.jpg


the recesses may have been numbered on the back wall, but most have been covered in black fuzz so much you cant see

oldwarden26.jpg


there's also still numbering visible to the sides of each recess

oldwarden29.jpg


no 28 though

oldwarden14.jpg


for some strange reason, somebody has taken a raspberry sponge down there and made a shrine to it in one of the recesses

oldwarden27.jpg


the south end of the tunnel, blocked off with a big earth bank. the only place where it is very mucky underfoot

oldwarden24.jpg


also at the south end was a strangely discoloured circle, from water dripping from the ceiling

oldwarden10.gif
 

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