Report - - Pencaedrain Tunnel, South Wales, April 2012 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Pencaedrain Tunnel, South Wales, April 2012


28DL Regular User
Regular User
After my last two outings, I was in a state approaching pulling my hair out as the photos I was taking were coming out like mince. So I grabbed one of my original exploring partners and headed off to Pencaedrain to see if I could rectify the problems. The tunnel was a lot wider than I remember from 6 years ago and a hell of a lot wetter.

Authorised by an Act of Parliament on 3rd August 1846, the first section of the Vale of Neath railway to open was the main line to Gelli Tarw Junction. Its first traffic rumbled over the broad gauge line on 24th September 1851. Mixed gauge arrived in 1863, with standard gauge completely taking over on 11th May 1872.

Mr Ritson was superintendent and contractor for the construction of a curved 526-yard tunnel near Cefn Rhigos. Although its eastern entrance is now buried beneath the Heads of the Valleys dual carriageway, the west portal survives. Like the bore's sidewalls, it is a masonry structure. Inside, the crown of the arch is brick.

A stream now runs down the middle of the tunnel and the standing water is ankle deep at the portal. There are several refuges and close to the centre is the entrance to a passageway which might have been driven as an intermediate access gallery during construction.

1. Looking down towards the infilled end (was like auld Lahdan town down there with the mist).

2. The 'mined' refuge entrance.

3. View into the adit (looks very like the stuff you see in the Silica mines around the corner).

4. Plenty of danglers now in situ.

5. View back up towards open portal from about half way in.

6. Continuous drops of water give you...

7. View back down towards the infilled end.

8. One of the many refuges.

9. Last look in.

10. Open portal from start of the cutting.

Thanks for looking.

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