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Report - - Pencader Tunnel, Carmarthenshire Jan 2012 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Pencader Tunnel, Carmarthenshire Jan 2012



Landsker

The Rock Man
28DL Full Member
#1
After seeing this on the rather excellent forgotten relics site, I decided to check it out. Access was no where near as traumatic as has been reported on other sites!

History

Construction of this 988yard tunnel was started by the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway in 1857 with the sinking of the 2 airshafts, and continued until 1861 when the bore was complete. The tunnel was originally intended for a broad-gauge line, and despite the C&C Railway wanting to swap to standard-gauge midway through construction, pressure from a neighbouring broad-gauge company, South Wales Railway, ensured the application for the switch never went to the government.

Work was contracted out to the construction company “Jays of Londonâ€￾ by the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway. At one point there were six workfaces in the tunnel, one from each portal and 2 either way from the bottom of each shaft. The tunnel was still bare rock at this point, and extensive work was still required to complete the rest of the approach cuttings, and also the line southwards to Llanpumsaint. Jays of London had abandoned construction by this time, and work was being carried out by a new company, “Holdensâ€￾. By the end of 1863, track had been laid throughout the tunnel.

The line was officially opened on 1st April 1864, but it was still some years before brick lining was installed and up until this point a watchmen had to be employed to check for rockfalls. Construction of the line and tunnel bankrupted the Carmarthen and Cardigan railway, and the company was sold to Great Western in 1881.
The withdrawal of passenger services came in 1965 but the line continued to carry freight until 28th September 1973.


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Just A bit further up the trackbed is the remains of a workmans hut
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