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Report - - Queensbury Tunnel, Bradford - January 2022. | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Queensbury Tunnel, Bradford - January 2022.


Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Queensbury Tunnel, Bradford - January 2022

Queensbury Tunnel

The 2,501 yard long Queensbury Tunnel connects Holmfield and Queensbury in West Yorkshire, England, built by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) it was the longest on the company's network at the time of its opening in 1878, In 1882 defects were found in the arch and sidewalls at several locations through the tunnel reported to be caused by poor workmanship and the effects of adjacent mine workings, This resulted in the imposition of single line working for the first nine months of 1883 whilst repairs were carried out. Subsidence and water ingress continued to have an impact during the tunnel's operational period prompting an extensive programme of patch repairs to the arch in the 1920s and the relining of No.3 shaft in 1934, Although passenger revenue declined due to tram and bus competition freight traffic remained relatively buoyant until the 1940s, However the high cost of maintenance in part due to Queensbury Tunnel made the line a prime candidate for closure as part of post-war economy measures, with passenger services already withdrawn the section of line from Holmfield to Queensbury West closed on 28 May 1956 and track lifting through the tunnel took place in 1963. Today the tunnel is owned by the DFT (Department for Transport) and maintained on its behalf by Highways Agency Historical Railways Estate (HRE) team. Controversy has surrounded the future of the tunnel for several years, The Queensbury Tunnel Society (QTS), supported by cycling groups, environmental campaigners and two local councils are seeking to reopen it as part of a greenway linking Bradford and Halifax although Highways England are progressing plans to abandon the structure due to concerns over its condition this would result in some sections being infilled and ultimately sealed. To date Shaft No.2 has been infilled from above using no less than 300 tonnes of aggregate this was undertaken in October 2019 due to safety concerns raised by Highways England, Shaft No.3 has been plugged below using steel cages filled with aggregate and concrete I believe it was carried out during 2021 however signs of movement/ sinkage were already evident, Shaft No.4 & No.5 are still open although totally unrecognizable as covered in a spray-crete solution, Very heavy water ingress falling down Shaft No.5 although I believe there’s natural water course above. between Shafts 3 & 4 there are three heavy duty steel support structures, the one closest to the Holmfield end hides a huge collapse in the sidewall and tunnels crown wooden supports have been added above in an attempt to stabilize further movement, moving north the next steel support is again supporting the failing crown evident by a huge fault line in the brick work, the final support section has twisted slightly as the crown has failed and a large section of sidewall too, Some immense pressure now resting on those steels. Throughout the tunnels there’s various attempts/ methods to repair or prevent failures and falls.

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Above; The Northern Portal of Queensbury recent bad weathers have caused further deterioration of the remaining stone work, bringing down several trees too. Heavy duty steel gates protect the entrance from unwanted guests.

Below; Inside looking out, a lot of water ingress from above.
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Above; Looking south the temporary ventilation system now left behind from the recent abandonment works undertaken by Amco Griffen.

Below; Shaft No.5, Heavy water ingress coming down the shaft I believe theres a natural water course above, I’m no fan of this awful looking spray on concrete.
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Above; Looking south some existing lighting remains on the roof, the ventilation system hangs off the wall, and construction debris litters the tunnel floor.

Below; Piles of spoil dumped on the track bed from some of the roof collapses further south, Note the missing brick work on both sides of the tunnels wall.
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Above; A Short section of the dreaded spray - crete around 6-8 inches thick, Light pollution from the northern portal in the distance

Below; A section of tunnel in reasonable condition, Looking north.
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Above; A large section of wall missing on the right, the ventilation ducting now lies on the floor, no doubt be there for years to come.

Below; 820yards looking south, traffic cones and a some form of machinery for a mini digger left behind.
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Above; Huge piles of spoil dumped of the old trackbed. Probably cleared up from the several collapses further south.

below; South end of the spoil heap looking back north.
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Above; 1020yards looking south a short section of scaffolding for no obvious reason stands ahead.

Below; close up of the scaffolding, Tunnels construction now changes to total stone masonry, new cable brackets lined the wall throughout.
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Above, Shaft No.4 fairly dry this one, again absolutely blathered in concrete, standing water on the ground meant i ended up with wet feet!

Below; Looking south from Shaft No.4 the roof is lined heavily with the Armco support system, Distortion in the crown is visible.
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931522

Above; Construction debris litters the trackbed, Shaft No.4 just visible.

Below; Construction now back to part stone and part brick, the ventilation duct hands from the tunnels crown.
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Above; The first of three steel support structures, above here is a huge void from a previous collapse.

Below, Looking south, more Armco steel work, a fault line developing in the tunnels crown, Looking ahead to the next steel support another huge void is visible on the right.
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Above; The second of the support structures now bearing the weight of the tunnel,

Below; The third and final support structure yet again another roof collapse, a fair few tonnes of tunnel roof now rests on the top of this, and because of this the structure has begun to twist and sink.
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Above; Shaft No.3 probably the most recent of works in the tunnel is the plugging of Shaft 3 using a new experimental method of steel cages filled with a concrete grout, Some pipe work on the floor left behind from previous attempts to lower the water levels at the south end. Note the sinkage starting to occur on the bottom right..

Below; Looking north from near Shaft 3 lots of construction waste / materials left behind.
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Above; Having navigated the steel cage tower this is the view looking south.

Below; Looking back north at the steel cages under Shaft No.3
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Above, Looking south a large section of brickwork recently fallen and looking closer I’d say more to follow, lots of sections of piping now discarded, In the far distance the aggregate poured down Shaft No.2 is visible with now means of drainage water levels are rapidly rising.

Below; A closer view of the spalled brickwork, A lot of water ingress just visible in this section,
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Above; Looking north towards the Steel cages, Yet more piping litters the floor.

Below; A close up of the Shaft No.2 infilling which occurred in October 2019, 9 Iron / steel supports remain for early attempts to tame this tunnel.
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In September 2019, Queensbury Tunnel was named on The Victorian Society’s list of the Top 10 Most Endangered Buildings in England and Wales for 2019. I don’t know the tunnels fate but I cant see it ever being open again...Happy to be proven wrong mind

Thanks for looking, Been on the list for some time this so nice to finally get in there and have a mooch about..
:thumb
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Wow. Feel like I've been on a journey with that report. Don't think I've ever seen so much post closure work on a disused railway tunnel. Cracking stuff. Literally.
 
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Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Wow. Feel like I've been on a journey with that report. Don't think I've ever seen so much post closure work on a disused railway tunnel. Cracking stuff. Litterally.
Thanks HughieD! It’s been the talk of the town for many years this one so was I real thrill to get inside, been waiting for what seems like forever for those contractors to leave! Finally went for what was only a reccie but ended up getting inside, having read a lot of the tails and reports posted of the Queensbury FB page there was a sense of nervousness this tunnel IS in poor state but not the worst I’ve been in…
 

westernsultan

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I always like your reports but this one is more than just good photography as it shows attempts to save it from scaffolding to infilled metal cages, that tells me they haven't solved the problem. Engineers will return but it will never open again in the foreseeable future. Thank you for your efforts and bringing this information to people like me. Well done
 

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
I always like your reports but this one is more than just good photography as it shows attempts to save it from scaffolding to infilled metal cages, that tells me they haven't solved the problem. Engineers will return but it will never open again in the foreseeable future. Thank you for your efforts and bringing this information to people like me. Well done
Thanks westernsultan! Really appreciate that, I wish I had gotten in before all the works began when the tunnel still retain a lot more of the natural beauty, But can’t lie I was absolutely buzzing to get inside and have a good look round, I had a feeling Queensbury would be a fave with people having been the topic of debate for some time on other forums, Like you I think it’s inevitable the contractors will return in time and I definitely don’t see a promising future for this tunnel.
 

westernsultan

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Thanks westernsultan! Really appreciate that, I wish I had gotten in before all the works began when the tunnel still retain a lot more of the natural beauty, But can’t lie I was absolutely buzzing to get inside and have a good look round, I had a feeling Queensbury would be a fave with people having been the topic of debate for some time on other forums, Like you I think it’s inevitable the contractors will return in time and I definitely don’t see a promising future for this tunnel.
Personally I'm happy you didn't get in sooner as it would just be a tunnel, your pictures show what people are doing, perhaps with little success, to stop it collapsing
 

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Personally I'm happy you didn't get in sooner as it would just be a tunnel, your pictures show what people are doing, perhaps with little success, to stop it collapsing
I don’t like saying it but I think they’d be aswell totally infilling this one.. Amount of money spent so far and the further amounts it’ll no doubt consume will be astronomical!
 

The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
Interesting to see how much it has changed since I visited here in 2012, well some of it's good, shame to see there are still collapses and random repairs being done.
 

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
Excellent stuff. Huge amount of research. Photos are great, so many changes via cement spray, brickwork, and the Armco support system, then steel square supports. Although its a shame they are needed, from a photographic point of view, it shows changes, care and makes for diverse shots. Lovely light painting work as usual. :thumb
 

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Excellent stuff. Huge amount of research. Photos are great, so many changes via cement spray, brickwork, and the Armco support system, then steel square supports. Although its a shame they are needed, from a photographic point of view, it shows changes, care and makes for diverse shots. Lovely light painting work as usual. :thumb
Thanks CJ! Was good to final get this one, Had to wait until the contractors had left although I’m sure they’ll be back soon… just waiting on the flood water levels to drop on the south end to complete the mooch :thumb Thanks for the comment appreciated as always.
 

Doug Judy

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
national highways trail of damage & destruction,
the filling of shaft no. 2 & a lot of there current work is & was unnecessary.
Yes, I’ve seen and digested reports regarding Queensbury and a lot of the work seems vastly unwarranted, a good way to exchange large sums of money for over exaggerated works, well hidden from the public eye.
 

stranton

subterranean explorer
Regular User
it's changed alot (for the worse) since our visit,
unfortunately if will never become a through route for cyclists.
thanks for sharing :thumb
 

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