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LewisS

UK Miley Tunnel 18/08/2013 IMAGE HEAVY

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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.

Early history

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 6½-mile (10½ 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.

Development

Miley Tunnel

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 line’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 53.827385°N 2.484603°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 £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.

Decline

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.

Remains

The track through Miley Tunnel, though rusty and overgrown, still exists.

The line’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:

MileyTunnelDeepdaleEntrance.jpg

Looking back out towards Deepdale:

MileyTunnelDeepdaleExit.jpg

Looking in from Deepdale:

MileyTunnelDeepdaleEnd.jpg

One last look back towards the light:

MileyTunnelLightAtTheEndOfTheTunnel.jpg

Onwards into the darkness:

MIleyTunnelIntoTheDarkness.jpg

Playing about with the remote and some LEDs:

MileyTunnelLightTrail.jpg

Train copy FAIL:

MileyTunnelTrain.jpg

Blue Light Orb:

MileyTunnelBlueLightOrb.jpg

Midway Point:

MileyTunnelMidWayPoint.jpg

Orange Light Orb that looks like a friggin' Mandarin:

MileyTunnelMandarin.jpg

Light at the end of the tunnel:

MileyTunnelComingToMaudlandBank.jpg

Back into the light:

MileyTunnelBackIntoTheLight.jpg

Looking back towards the tunnel:

MileyTunnelLookingBackfromMB.jpg

Back in to the smaller tunnel:

MileyTunnelPortal3toMB.jpg

Looking back towards to tunnel as we finished:

MileyTunnelFromMaudlandBank.jpg

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 :)

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nice one, I grew up in Preston and never knew the tunnel was there until I went down last year. All the times I must of gone past it on my bike when going into town.

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I have to admit I do like a good write up either historical back ground or covering the day had sploring etc

This one had me nodding off lol but the pic are spot on and like the Mid tunnel Orbs

Great stuff and cool share Cheers Lewis

:thumb

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My apologies on the history essay lol.

Thanks for the comments though :)

Lew its a cool share

We all work things differently.

My way is to kinda bullet point key moments and you can always add a link to source such as Wiki etc.

Horses for courses and nothing wrong with either.

Cheers bud :thumb

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Lew its a cool share

We all work things differently.

My way is to kinda bullet point key moments and you can always add a link to source such as Wiki etc.

Horses for courses and nothing wrong with either.

Cheers bud :thumb

I never took offence mate :). I take all advice on board.

I'll link up the history next time as I do often waffle on lol.

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nice stuff there mate but?? No fireworks????

I live to set off a rocket up a tunnel!!! One day ;)

:thumb

I'll give that a whirl as no doubt I'll be back there again sometime soon lol. There's been plenty of bonfires down there so why not fireworks? lol.

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Guest Scattergun

Really interesting read mate and a fantastic piece of architecture, reminds me of some of Glasgows old railway tunnels, there was a whole westbound section that fell victim to the Beeching axe that runs right back to the citys Central Station and through to the east end. Good to see another tunnel thats kept its rails too.

Oh and awesome light painting :) I must give the LED's a try.

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Really interesting read mate and a fantastic piece of architecture, reminds me of some of Glasgows old railway tunnels, there was a whole westbound section that fell victim to the Beeching axe that runs right back to the citys Central Station and through to the east end. Good to see another tunnel thats kept its rails too.

Oh and awesome light painting :) I must give the LED's a try.

Thanks mate :)

I wouldn't mind seeing that in Glasgow. I'll have to start getting out of Lancashire on my exploring trips.

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