Web
Analytics
Report (Permission Visit) - Standedge Canal Tunnel by boat 2009 | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report (Permission Visit) Standedge Canal Tunnel by boat 2009



canalwheeler

28DL Member
28DL Member
#1
I won't give a historical preamble here as it has all been done on previous Standedge threads. But I don't think there is a documented passage through the canal tunnel by boat on this site. So here goes.

My boat, Dreamcatcher, was steered through the tunnel by my good friend Martin Clark who runs the excellent Pennine waterways Website Pennine Waterways - Canals of the South Pennines - UK canal information, history, photographs, virtual cruise

Although he was involved in the restoration of the Huddersfield canals and had been through the tunnel twice before, he had never steered a boat through. At that time I was severely disabled, and as he had helped me through nearly all the Huddersfield locks, as a reward I handed him the tiller. He did well, only clouting one overhang, which is pretty good compared with the experience of others.

British Waterways, as was (now Canal & River Trust), insist on one of their staff being on board each boat that passes through the tunnel. The cabin top must be cleared of anything high such as chimneys. Canvas cratch covers are wound off the front corners of the cabin top as this is where the boat might hit a projection. Hard hats and life-jackets must be worn (though the water is only about 4ft deep at most).

It is by no means a straight passage. Apart from a slight chicane in the middle, the boat has to be wriggled around several rocky projections. Of course the longer the boat the harder this is. We were 57ft, which wasn't too bad.

The passage took 50 minutes.

A tunnel light on the front of the boat is of course compulsory, but we also had a hand-held 12v searchlight on the back of the boat, that showed up the tunnel features and enabled some hand-held photography:

HPIM2855.jpg

Waiting in the rain to enter at Diggle


HPIM2856.jpg

Reinforced concrete cover, where the railway crosses


HPIM2857.jpg

Then into brick lined sections....


HPIM2858.jpg

.....that keep changing profile...


HPIM2859.jpg

.... again and again.....


HPIM2860.jpg

... and again


HPIM2861.jpg

A BW van accompanied us on the parallel old railway tunnel, connected by these passageways.


HPIM2862.jpg

Rock faced sections. Varying profiles and projections. Very beautiful in places


HPIM2863.jpg

Our guide knew what kind of rock each section had been hewn out of


HPIM2865.jpg

Imagine the work that went into hacking all of this out of solid rock by hand. Drill markings can be seen in some places


HPIM2867.jpg

Projections needed steering around


HPIM2871.jpg

Another cross-passage


HPIM2872.jpg

Concrete lining


HPIM2873.jpg

We asked the BW guide what this old beam was for. He said they don't know, so they left it there just in case!


HPIM2874.jpg

Another cross-passage. The van driver shouted, "You OK?" We were.


HPIM2876.jpg

A spectacular rock lined section. A geologists dream?

HPIM2878.jpg

The active railway line above and to our left. Sometimes trains can be seen passing.

HPIM2879.jpg

Ladder to another cross-passage


HPIM2881.jpg

More brick-lined profiles


HPIM2890.jpg

Rock to be avoided.... almost!


HPIM2892.jpg

The light at the end of the tunnel


HPIM2893.jpg

Power cables above


HPIM2894.jpg

A low bit


HPIM2895.jpg

Nearly there


HPIM2896.jpg

Well done Martin! Steered all the way through with only a couple of minor touches, and paint is sacrificial, especially on Dreamcatcher.


HPIM2899.jpg

Tunnel end. Its not raining this side..... and then to the pub. Good job well done. Cheers Martin.


Hope you enjoyed the (entirely legal) trip.

Tone
 

captainweird

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#2
Nice pics, really interesting. Funny, I was reading Terry Darlington's "Narrow Dog To Wigan Pier" where he describes going through the tunnel, he kept crashing the boat and had to let his wife steer.

Phil
 

Oxygen Thief

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#4
I think I just worked out the picture from Fudge's report...

All four tunnels are linked by cross-tunnels or adits at strategic locations within the tunnels. The adits allowed the railway tunnels to be built much more quickly by allowing 'waste spoil'(sic) to be removed by boat and reducing the need for shafts for construction.
Of the railway tunnels, only the tunnel built in 1894 is currently used for rail traffic. Closed in 1943, the canal tunnel was re-opened in May 2001
 

Ojay

Admin
Staff member
Admin
#5
This might explain it OT

standedge_map.jpg


Basically two dis-used train tunnels run parallel to the right of the canal tunnel, hence the van driving through


The pic you queried is one of the connecting drainage tunnels

On the left of the canal tunnel is a live rail line which still runs today
 

tweek

meek
Regular User
#14
Canal tunnel is the highest, deepest and longest in the UK. And the cost of travelling the 3 mile tunnel from Marsden to Greenfield via train is the most expensive bit of track in the country... about £8 for that journey.
 

The Franconian

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#15
I like this place, I want to go here: Everybody reading this, send me some money please.
----
Legging through the tunnel, horses over the hill
 

Similar threads