Report - - The Standedge Tunnels | Underground Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - The Standedge Tunnels


Miss TQ ✌️
28DL Full Member
Standedge tunnels.

The Standedge Tunnels are four parallel tunnels through the Pennine Hills at the Standedge crossing between Marsden and Diggle.
3 are Railway Tunnels the other is a Canal Tunnel. The Double Line North Tunnel is still live, as is the Canal Tunnel, The Central (Nicholson) and South (Nelson) tunnels are disused.
They are part of the London and North Western Railway (LNWR)
All 4 Tunnels are connected and interlinked once inside via little passageways called Adits, these were put in during construction to enable boats from the canal to take spoil away and bring in construction materials which sped up the process of construction, They are also used for the ventilation of all 4 Tunnels.
So basically from inside the South Tunnel you can cross via little passageways (Adits) to the Central Tunnel and then over to the Canal Tunnel and over again to the Double Line Live Tunnel, which we need to state we went nowhere near. I shall include a picture from the internet which hopefully better explains this.

Central Tunnel is also known as the Nicholson Tunnel, Named after the contractor Thomas Nicholson.
Central Tunnel is 3 miles and 57 yards (4,880m) long. This was the first railway tunnel of the 3 to be built with construction commencing in 1845 and was completed in 1848.
Central Tunnel was Closed in 1966.
It ran parallel to, and to the south of the Canal Tunnel at a slightly higher level.
Thirteen adits connect this tunnel to the canal tunnel.
This tunnel now provides an emergency escape route for the other tunnels and has been made accessible to road vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances.

The South Tunnel is known as the Nelson Tunnel, Again named after the contractor Thomas Nelson.
South Tunnel is 3 miles and 57 yards (4,880m) long. This was the 2nd of the 3 railway tunnels to be built with construction commencing in 1868, and being completed in 1871.
This Tunnel Closed in 1970.
South Tunnel ran parellel to and to the South of the Central Tunnel at the same level which is slightly higher than the Canal.
As with the Central Tunnel, 21 Adits link this tunnel to the Canal which pass underneath the Central Tunnel.
Both tunnels are still used by maintenance personnel for access.

Double Line North tunnel which is still live today is 3 miles 64 yards (4887m)
This is the newest of the 3 tunnels, construction was commenced in 1890 and completed in 1894.
Once again the tunnel was driven from adits, this time 13 adits were connected to the Central railway tunnel crossing over the top of the canal. But as the Central Tunnel was already connected to the canal this meant the spoil could then be taken away.
For most of its length, it is situated to the north of the Canal Tunnel, but passes over the Canal Tunnel just inside each tunnel entrance.
As of 2018 this is the Fifth longest live Rail Tunnel in Britain.

The Canal Tunnel is 3 mile 395 yards (5189m) long, Which was and still is the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain. This was the first of the 4 tunnels to be constructed with construction commencing in 1794 and being completed in 1811. This took 17 years to dig and cost the lives of 50 men.
The canal tunnel closed in 1944 and was rebuilt in 2001 and remains still in use today.

There are 8 Ventilation shafts in total.
The new shafts at Brunn Clough, Redbrook and Flint Pit were constructed in connection with the new Double Line Tunnel, and the remainder are the original shafts.
All, with the exception of Redbrook Down Cast shaft, are over the canal tunnel.
The railway tunnels are ventilated naturally by six of the shafts by means of cross adits of varying sizes.
The two shafts at Redbrook (Down Cast and Up Cast) are the only ones in which any attempt has been made to artificially create a circulation of air.
In Redbrook Down Cast shaft, the air is brought down by a means of water sprays. Water near the surface of the ground is collected into a channel by means of a special arrangement, and spreads so as to fall in spray form down the shaft. This causes further air to follow, and the Up Cast shaft being only about 14 yards away, the constant circulation of fresh air is provided. I shall also include a chart in the pictures showing the names of each shaft and its size.

The rail tunnels are level for their whole length providing the only section of level track on the line where water troughs could be installed to provide steam locomotives with fresh water supplies without the requirement for the train to stop.

During the 2000s, Network Rail proposed reinstating rail traffic through the 1848 and 1871 tunnels to increase capacity on the Leeds to Manchester Transpennine route, but after a reappraisal after the decision to electrify the Transpennine line, it was reported in 2012 that reinstatement was unnecessary.

This is my first report ever on here normally I just post on our Facebook page, but thought this one was too good not to share and noticed there wasn't a very recent report either as I read the padlock had been put back on after being off for some time, however it is still accessible.
I'll apologise in advance for the bad lighting I'm looking into getting something better than my torch, but unsure which or what any suggestions welcome in comments .
Also just noticed I can only upload 30 pictures, altho it's only letting me upload a few yet I have 60+ and a video of a passing train in the tunnel so I'll post the link to the Facebook page for anyone that wants to pop over and see the rest of the pictures. Hope you enjoy
I'll also state the write up is my own and took ages but all the info was from various different sites online.




One of the cross sections, we're currently stood by the canal up the stairs goes to central tunnel, down the stairs goes to South Tunnel.


Looking at the live tunnel from the disused hut window.























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