- Feb 5, 2015
- Reaction score
- West Yorkshire
Sandsend Tunnel is a tunnel on the former Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway that was opened in 1883 and closed in 1958. The rail line that ran through it was originally intended to travel along the top of the cliffs, however some of the cliff fell into the sea whilst construction was suspended so the NER constructed two tunnels, the Sandsend tunnel and the Kettleness tunnel.
The Sandsend Tunnel is the longer of two tunnels being 1,652 yards in length. It is predominantly straight but the north-western 300 yards incorporate a curve to the north.
There are a total of five air shafts, two of which have nearby service galleries leading off horizontally to the cliffs which were used to dump spoil while carving out the tunnels, the air shafts were capped in 1958. The southern half of the tunnel is considerably damp with the tunnel being flooded to about 6 inches on the southern 300 yards. The southern portal of the Sandsend tunnel is bricked up and it can only be accessed via the northern portal of the Kettleness tunnel by walking through the Kettleness tunnel and the area between the tunnels which is overgrown with grass and trees. The northern portal of the Sandsend tunnel partially collapsed in 2008 after years of pressure from the cliff above.
"It is not recommended to access the tunnels due to their poor condition; they have not been maintained since they were abandoned in 1958." - Both tunnels were in pretty good condition other than the odd bow in the wall from the pressure of the cliff above, which just goes to show how strong old school engineering really is
Walking the lines;
Parking in the hamlet of Kettleness we walked over the cliff tops to where we assumed the portal for the first tunnel was, crossing the farmers field wondering how secure it would be. On arrival however, it transpired that the NY council are a lot more laid back about railway tunnels then WY as instead of the normal palisade fortress, we found just a brick wall with a door sized hole in it.
The tunnels itself was rather interesting as far as railway tunnels go, each featuring a mine adit filled with horrible orange, knee deep disgusting muddy water. Did i mention it wasnt very nice? Myself and @Fatpanda had left @-Raz- further up the tunnel so we went for a mooch down one of these. I would say it was about 100m from tunnel entrance to adit entrance, but 20 mins and up to the very limits of our wellies, i misplaced my foot whilst feeling for the next board and went in up to my lower thigh, which of course meant my welly filled to the brim. YUM!
Rest of the photos;
Thanks for looking