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Report - Trubshaw's Tunnel, Near Cauldon - August 2012

Discussion in 'Underground Sites' started by watchman, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. watchman

    watchman 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Feb 21, 2011
    Likes Received:
    I did this tunnel about a year ago but didn't take my camera. Im a big fan of the history of the Cauldon-Froghall area so it was only right to pay a return visit.

    The quarrys at Cauldon Lowe used to transport their products down to the canal at Froghall Warf via tramways. 4 diffrent tramways were built throughout the
    18th and 19th centurys. Each one succeeded the previous one and each was more heavily engineered.

    "The fourth tramroad, designed by local engineer James Trubshaw, was the most heavily engineered of them all, consisting of a series of self-acting inclines leading all the way from Froghall Wharf to the quarries. The horse-drawn flat sections of Rennie's plateway were dispensed with. Where necessary, substantial embankments and cuttings were constructed to keep the incline more-or-less constant and the final section, leading to the quarries, included a tunnel.

    Three-rail layout
    The technology used this time was that of a modern-style railway but using a three-rail system, in which the centre rail was shared by the up and down lines. Trains of climbing and descending wagons were linked by a continuous cable which ran on a series of rollers and guides along the centre of the tracks. At the top of each incline the cable passed through a braking system which controlled the trains' speed.
    In the middle of each incline, the centre rail divided into a conventional double track layout, so that the trains could pass." (info from http://www.churnet.co.uk/caldontramroads.php, an excellent website on the history of the area).

    The tramway closed in 1920 after being succeeded by road/conventional rail transport. When you consider this means the tunnel has been unused for over 90 years its amazing its in such amazing condition, albeit very very boggy towards the western end, which ment my fellow explorer had to piggyback me out of the tunnel as I had no waders! (why is there never someone to photograph such moments!)

    On with the pictures

    The eastern, portal, less boggy but difficult to access.

    the approach route

    just inside the portal. The brickwork is in excellent condition still

    looking down the tunnel. It starts off quite broad but soon narrows.

    foamy/slimey goodness

    there were a lot of these straws forming from the roof


    the profile of the tunnel has now changed to a more egg-shape

    some inpromptu attempt at light painting

    More goo

    The midsection has being reinforced here, must have been done after closure as it is quite narrow

    Some rubble in the tunnel, not sure where this came from but may have been dumped by a farmer.

    one of the very few refuges in the tunnel.

    join the dots.....


    random bit of stoney floor, very odd

    The western portal

    Thanks for looking.

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