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How do lads and lasses.
I first got into exploring by taking an interest in Miley Tunnel. Coming from Preston, you often heard stories of Miley Tunnel and it's supposed paranormal inhabitants. This place was used to scare young kids, for teenagers to dare each other to walk through and for adults to throw rubbish over the side into as well.
It was part of the now defunct Preston to Longridge Railway which also ran a service to Whittingham.
Apparently, there have been plans to reopen this as a tram link to the M6 at Junction 31a. Perfect for the student types in the university which is situated next to this place and I guess it might cut traffic going into Preston City Centre itself.
History shamelessly half inched from Wiki:
The Preston and Longridge Railway (P&LR) was a branch line in Lancashire, England. Originally designed to carry quarried stone in horse-drawn wagons, it became part of an ambitious plan to link the Lancashire coast to the heart of Yorkshire. The plan failed, and the line closed to passengers in 1930 and to goods in 1967.
The Preston and Longridge Railway Company was set up in 1836 to build a tramway from the newly opened Tootle Heights Quarry in Longridge to Preston. The 6Ã‚Â½-mile (10Ã‚Â½ km) single-track line was opened on 1 May 1840, with crude passenger facilities at Longridge, Grimsargh and Deepdale Street in Preston.
Wagons were horse-drawn from Preston uphill to Longridge. Wagons ran by gravity in the opposite direction as far as Ribbleton, which was then a village just outside Preston. Horses were used for the final two miles (3 km) to Deepdale. Longridge ashlar sandstone was widely used in the region, for example in the building of Lancaster Town Hall, Bolton Town Hall, Preston railway station and Liverpool Docks.
In 1850, a double-track extension was built connecting to the existing line a few hundred yards east of the Deepdale Street terminus. The line passed via the 862-yard (788 m) Miley Tunnel under the north part of Preston and connected to the Preston and Wyre Joint Railway very close to that lineÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s original terminus at Maudlands. The extension was initially used for goods only.
The first work on the Grimsargh to Skipton line was the excavation of a short cutting (which still exists) south of Hurst Green (at 53.827385Ã‚Â°N 2.484603Ã‚Â°W), but then the project was abandoned. In 1852, the FP&WRR Company collapsed. The Preston and Longridge Railway acquired the engines and rolling stock of the collapsed company in lieu of owed rental fees.
However, in 1856 a reformed Fleetwood, Preston and West Riding Junction Railway Company purchased the line. The line through Miley Tunnel was opened to passengers, with new stations at each end, at Deepdale Bridge on Deepdale Road and at Maudland Bridge. The original Deepdale Street terminus was closed to passengers but continued to be used for goods.
By 1866, the plan to extend the line to Yorkshire had been revived. Fearing that the rival Midland Railway would buy the line to gain access to Preston, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway (L&YR) bought the line instead. From the following year, the line was owned jointly by the L&YR and the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).
In 1885, Maudland Bridge Station was closed and passenger trains ran on to the adjacent LNWR main line to Preston Station, allowing connections to other railway lines for the first time.
Whittingham Hospital Branch
In June 1889, a private branch line was opened northwards from Grimsargh to Whittingham Asylum two miles (3 km) away. As well as supplies, hospital staff and visitors were carried free of charge in converted goods brake vans. Trains (as many as twelve per day) were timed to connect with passenger trains at Grimsargh.
The locomotives used on the hospital branch were industrial types with the exception of the ex-London, Brighton and South Coast Railway no. 357, Riddlesdown, which was purchased in February 1948 from British Railways for Ã‚Â£745.
The hospital line continued to operate long after the main branch closed to passengers in 1930. The hospital trains were now timed to connect with bus services at Grimsargh. The line eventually closed on 29 June 1957.
By 1930 the popularity of bus travel caused the line to close to passengers. The line to Longridge remained open to goods traffic until November 1967.
Goods traffic continued to use part of the line as far as the Courtaulds factory at Red Scar, until the last train worked by class 25 diesel, number 25 142 on Friday 8 February 1980. The Gamull Lane bridge over the line at Ribbleton was subsequently removed. All that now remained of the whole line was a Y-shaped link between the West Coast Main Line and coal yards at the site of the original Deepdale Street terminus. This, too, was closed in the 1990s, although the tracks for this section were never taken up.
The track through Miley Tunnel, though rusty and overgrown, still exists.
The lineÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s route in Preston between Blackpool Road and Red Scar is now a cycle path and footpath. It is planned to extend the path to Grimsargh.
In Longridge, a portal to a blocked-off tunnel under Higher Road that led to Tootle Heights Quarry is a Grade II listed building. The station buildings at Longridge and Ribbleton still survive.
In 2003, the Preston City Link Canal Trust was formed with a plan to reopen part of the Lancaster Canal to a new marina to be constructed in the vicinity of the former Maudland Bridge railway station. One option being considered was to reopen the Longridge line as far as Deepdale or Ribbleton, the line passing by viaduct over the new marina.
In 2010, light rail manufacturer Trampower UK opened negotiations to use a segment of the former route as a tram demonstrator line. Initially, Trampower UK would use the line from the Miley Tunnel portal to Ribbleton, however their long term ambition is to provide a service on the line from the M6 Junction 31A to Preston city centre.
Now you've been bored shit less with the history I'll get to the piccies:
Me and my Dad explored Miley. It was the first time my Dad had been back down for 40 years. We walked through and got the pics on the way back.
The Deepdale Entrance:
Looking back out towards Deepdale:
Looking in from Deepdale:
One last look back towards the light:
Onwards into the darkness:
Playing about with the remote and some LEDs:
Train copy FAIL:
Blue Light Orb:
Orange Light Orb that looks like a friggin' Mandarin:
Light at the end of the tunnel:
Back into the light:
Looking back towards the tunnel:
Back in to the smaller tunnel:
Looking back towards to tunnel as we finished:
All in all it was great to finally get down there and great for my Dad to relive a little bit of his youth.
Thanks for looking
Unlike the railways in Europe or northern America, New Zealand tracks were rudimentary. They were built cheaply and hastily using light iron rails that had a narrow 3ft 6in gauge. Even the tunnels and bridges were minimalistic and usually made as small as possible to get the railways up and running as quickly as possible. It was always the intention, though, that the lines would be improved in the future as traffic and available finances increased.
The four-hundred and sixty-two metre long Chain Hills Railway Tunnel, also known as Wingatui Tunnel, was one of the tunnels built in the 1870s, during New Zealand’s brief period of industrialisation. The line itself was constructed to improve transportation of coal and other natural resources across the land to major ports, where the goods could then be shipped elsewhere. Like the Caversham Tunnel, the Chain Hills Tunnel was largely dug out by hand, but it is unique in the sense that it is a Victorian styled brick tunnel that would have taken longer to build than some of the others that were carved out. The Chain Hills Tunnel also sparked much excitement in Dunedin during its construction as workmen made an interesting discovery while making a cutting at the southern end of the tunnel. Thirty-five feet under the ground, which it is thought was once swampland, a large number of moa bones were found (a flightless bird endemic to New Zealand). The bones ranged in shape and size and were in a very good state of preservation owing to the high alkaline levels in the soil.
The Chain Hills Tunnel was completed in 1875, and it was measured as being four hundred and sixty-two metres long. Progress was aided with the construction of brick kilns at either end of the tunnel, as this meant materials did not run short because bricks were constantly available throughout the project. However, finishing the tunnel proved to be a difficult and dangerous task. For years the project was plagued by regular flooding, which slowed progress, and workers were also encumbered by the hardness of the stone they were cutting through. Alongside these issues, six months before completion a rock fall occurred at the north end of the tunnel. The incident claimed the lives of two men, Patrick Dempsey and Thomas Kerr. A third man was severely injured as both of his legs were shattered, leaving him crippled for the rest of his life. In the end, the tunnel did not remain in service for very long either as it was abandoned in 1914. A new dual-lane tunnel was constructed further south which meant there was no longer any need for the Chain Hills Tunnel.
In the short period of time the Chain Hills Tunnel was operational it claimed another life – that of Irishman George Thompson. Reports indicate that late one evening in 1895, George took a shortcut through the tunnel to get home. Although there are several niches in the tunnel it is likely George was unaware of them, or simply too far away to reach one, before he noticed the oncoming train. Since its closure, however, no more lives have been lost. For a while the tunnel was used as a popular way of passing between Abbotsford and Wingatui, and for moving sheep between the two locations. Nevertheless, since the 1980s the tunnel has been closed to the public due to the deterioration of the tunnel’s structural integrity and subsequent health and safety concerns.
In recent years there have been plans to redevelop the tunnel into part of the proposed Otago Central Rail Trail (a cycle and pedestrian track). But, due to lack of funding and ongoing concerns surrounding the structural integrity of the tunnel, especially with the increased risk of it being damaged by an earthquake, the project has come to a standstill. The only recent work Dunedin City Council has carried out on the Chain Hills Tunnel has been to shift two vents from sewer gas reticulation pipes, to stop them from venting into the tunnel.
Our Version of Events
Having just returned from a South Island trip the previous night, we had no intentions of going exploring, until Nillskill rocked up that is. He was passing back through Dunedin so we decided while he was around to have a crack at the old Chain Hills Tunnel that’s been on the cards for quite a while. We understand there was a public open day a few months ago, but going to an event like that would take away one of the most interesting parts of exploring – figuring out how to slip into these places.
We loaded up the car with the usual gear and raided the fridge for all the beers we had spare, then set off in the direction of Mosgiel, a town that is apparently well-known for its local legends and myths. The drive didn’t take too long, which is always good, but the next hour or so we spent trying to find the damn tunnel was a right challenge. To avoid a couple of nearby farms we headed into a patch of native woodland. This would most likely have been quite pleasant, if we’d been able to see where the fuck we were going. But, as we didn’t want to risk using the torches with the farms being so close, we ended up getting very lost among the trees and bushes.
After following a few false trails, we did eventually stumbled across the entrance to the tunnel. Just the faint sight of it in the distance raised our disheartened spirits. The next challenge, though, was to get past a locked gate. Fortunately, this wasn’t as bad as it had first appeared, probably due to the fact that we’ve had plenty of practice in the art of contortion over the years we’ve been exploring. To keep it brief, despite some initial doubts about our ability to contort through the space available to us, we managed to worm our way inside.
As expected, the inside of the tunnel was incredibly muddy. Even sticking close to the walls didn’t help very much. As for the tunnel itself, though, it was, aesthetically speaking, very pleasant. It reminded us of an old Victorian railway tunnel you’d find in the UK. The condition of some of the bricks in the Chain Hills Tunnel are quite poor too, which enhances its overall photogenicity. Other than that, however, there isn’t a lot else to see. That’s the nature of old railway tunnels unfortunately. We did find a couple of niches and a few pipes belonging to the sewer system, but they’re pretty standard finds in these places. Eventually, after what felt like a fair bit of walking, we found ourselves at the second gate. For some reason, the authorities had left this one open, probably due to the fact that the tunnel is inaccessible from this side. Whatever the reason, it gave us an easy exit from the tunnel, where we found ourselves on a narrow muddy trail surrounded by dense forest. Apparently, if you continue down the track for a while you eventually reach the present day railway line, but it’s quite difficult for anyone to access the tunnel from this side. We didn’t walk down the trail to find out if this is true mind, since we had a bottle of whisky to get started on back in Dunedin.
Explored with Nillskill.
The History (shamelessly ripped from Wiki)
Holborn tramway station was a tram stop underneath Kingsway in central London, England. It was built in 1906 by the London County Council Tramways as part of the Kingsway Tramway Subway joining the separate networks of tramways in North and South London. When opened it was named Great Queen Street. Tram services commenced on 24 February 1906, running from Angel to Aldwych, the next station in the subway. Through services across London began on 10 April 1908, running from Highbury station through Holborn and then east to Tower Bridge or south to Gate. The routes that used the Kingsway Subway were numbered 31, 33, and 35.
Following the decision to withdraw tram services in London and replace them with buses, the station closed just after 12.30am on 6 April 1952. Much of the station remains in the disused subway but there is no public access. Following it's closure, the station was used as a backdrop various TV shows & films. Most notably it was featured in the 2008 film The Escapist, as a fictional London Underground station called "Union Street", which was said to be on the Northern Line between Elephant & Castle and Borough. Remains of the film props, such as a fake tube map and a Union Street tube roundel, can still be seen pasted to the walls of the station. The props date from 2008, and are not part of the original station. In 2009 the subway and station was the venue for an art installation, Chord, by Conrad Shawcross.
This was a short but sweet explore that we did while on the way to something else. I did this one with my missus & partner in crime Vixxie , as well as @extreme_ironing . We started off the night with a quick round in one of the local watering holes, to give us a spot of Dutch courage & to catch up with goings on & such. We then made our way over to the entry point, which was rather fun to say the least. It’s pretty pedestrian as far as this type of splore goes, but it’s still a rather bait affair. Needless to say, the Dayglo invisibility cloak was in full effect!
Once we were all in, we had a scope of the area. Having heard about a lot of activity at one end of the place, we were slightly on edge. We decided to go over to the other side first, & soon we arrived at the old poster boards. They look pretty plain in themselves, just large metal panels with a surround, but together with original cream & olive green brickwork, you could easily imagine what it was like when the place was in operation. I took a couple of shots from here, which wasn’t easy. I imagine it would have been some time ago, that is until someone fucked a giant concrete wall through the middle of the platform!
After this we got to a large open room with pillars running down it. Walking through got progressively difficult, with the sloping ceiling tapering to nothing at the far side. Half way down we found a little tunnel offshoot which we crawled into. The tunnel started to curve around quite sharply, we worked out that this is where Kingsway becomes the Strand. After a bit of a tight walk through, the tunnel came to an abrupt end. Rested against the wall was a workman’s ladder, which lead up to what looked like a ledge. Being rather curious I decided to go up & have a look. Up top there was a large plastic cover which capped off the space, I thought “that’s odd”, & so I pulled it up to have a look. What I didn’t realise is that it wasn’t a ledge or crawl space at all, rather the top of the wall, & over the other side was the busy road tunnel!
With nothing else to see there, we headed over to the money shots, which were the fake Union Street roundels & propaganda posters. Even though they aren’t real, seeing them still gives you that sense that you’ve found something special. I especially enjoyed the poster board, which was rammed full of old wartime posters & fliers. What I didn’t know about & what was a nice find were all of the old cast iron street lights piled up along one side. It seemed a shame that they weren’t being put to use, but part of me was thinking it’s nicer to see them here than painted up all new like on the streets. We gathered a few more snaps of the place, whilst being cautious of movement further along the tunnel. Not wanting to push our luck, & needing to continue to the next location, we made our way back out.
Thanks for looking
Dudley rail tunnel was opened in 1850 to allow the Oxford-Worcester-Wolverhampton Line between Stourbridge and Wolverhampton to pass for several hundred yards beneath Dudley. The tunnel was regularly used by passenger trains until 1964, when the town's station closed along with the remaining passenger stations on the line, although goods trains were still allowed to use the line.
It finally closed to all trains on 19 March 1993, when the section of railway between Walsall and Brierley Hill was closed after 143 years in use. A cable laying train passed through the tunnel on 2 July 1993 - nearly four months after the line was officially closed.
Explored with @plod and a 28DL member.
The railway tunnel, opened in 1848 by George Stephenson and the York & North Midland railway company, ran 400 yards directly below Langcliffe Avenue from the A61 Leeds roundabout to the opposite side of Tewit Well Road. Initially, the locals opposed the railway being built, so the tunnel was built around the railway to keep it out of sight. The branch from Brunswick tunnel and the station was then abandoned after 14 years in operation.
The abandoned tunnel was later converted into an air-raid shelter during WW2, with steps leading down to it from the Leeds road roundabout area. A concrete floor had been laid with a 6ft high brick wall lining the tunnel, and the remains of makeshift toilet cubicles in the four corners of the shelter were present.
The air-raid shelter finally became abandoned in 1943 due to the bombing of The Majestic Hotel in 1941.
The tunnel is mostly free from vandalism, apart from some minor graffiti which dates as far back as the 1970's. The indents on the ground from the sleepers are still evident, and the portal has 2 fixed metal grills to allow bats to use the tunnel.
I explored this one with @plod, and another time with some non-members. after spending hours on research and putting together a detailed map it actually turned out much easier to find than we had anticipated. Getting to the entrance was pretty tricky though (as well as actually accessing the tunnel) and when we arrived it soon became clear that our £8 wilko torch was not going to cut it, so with this place being pretty local we decided to do a more detailed explore in a return visit Even with the return trip & better torches my camera really struggled with the poor lighting so picture quality isn't its best.
We knew that the tunnel was basically a straight line so we headed right towards the end where we came across a wall with a doorway. Through here was an empty brick room with toilet cubicles in the corners, and past that room through the opposite doorway was a staircase leading to a pile of rubble underneath the Leeds Road roundabout, which had been dug into by the workmen in the 1960's who didn't know it was there, so sadly that's as far as we could go.
This is a neat little place in Harrogate that not many people actually know of.