Here we have a Queensbury Tunnel report that will be of interest to quite a lot of people (off Forum) considering the debating that"s still ongoing at various levels at present regarding the possible re-opening of the Tunnel & being incorporated into the local Cycle Network with various bodies ........if it ever sees the light of day that is ?
At the time of writing following a lengthy time actually pumping the Tunnel out (repeatedly it seems?) and various organisations inspecting the Tunnel, the projected costs for reinforcing around the deepest Airshaft in the Tunnel & filling in the shaft (to prevent future collapse) along with sealing the Tunnel is @£3.5 Million with the figure to repair and reopen the Tunnel as part of the Cycle Network is estimated at @£35Million!
Obviously at first impressions, nobody could justify £35M just to open a Cycleway (out of London especially as both Clayton & Wells Head tunnels are both filled in at their ends, preventing passage & continuation of the Cycleway along the old Track beds without deviation. & with little return to the local area etc on such a large investment........if such a "Guesstimate" is indeed accurate ?
I"ve been in quite a lot of Railway Tunnels across the Country over the last few years, so i"m used too the usual spalling & blowing out of tunnel walls (especially where water ingress and/or freeze thaw has happened) but Queensbury Tunnel really is in a "Dire" state as can be seen in some of the pics below. More so in comparison of reports from @stranton & @The Lone Ranger following the recent repairs back in 2012 & the last pumping out in 2014. The major things to notice are the scaffold towers erected to allow grouting/repairs to be carried out previously, now the roof lining/walls has collapsed onto nearly all of the staging with obvious potential for a major collapse. Along with wall areas blowing out etc you have large sections of the brick roof lining "Blowing off" and falling down .......currently!
These are some of the many reasons proposed as to why the Tunnel should just be reinforced in the appropriate areas and sealed up and forgotten about !
As there are no recent pictures from the Tunnel (until now) I"d suggest these may allow some of the campaigners too actually see what they are fighting to save for themselves!
History pinched from @The Lone Ranger & various others
Queensbury tunnel (2501yds) is one of the longest and deepest railway tunnels in England. It was on the G.N.R line serving the Northern industrial towns of Bradford, Halifax & Keighley, and was built in 1879, passenger services ceased on the 28th May 1956.
Running from Clayton (North portal) to Holmfield (South portal) it passes beneath the village of Queensbury, famous for the Black Dyke Brass Band.
There are 5 air shafts (all now capped), air shaft no 3 is the deepest at 379 feet. The north portal is in poor condition with crumbling masonry, water is seeping through the tunnel lining at the north end and all the 5 air shafts.
A big problem in the tunnels history was giant icicles forming on cold winter nights, A steam engine used to be parked here overnight to prevent this in later years. The line used to be known as the Alpine route due to its hilly nature.
The South portal again is fully under water, it wasn't damned on purpose. The 1033 yard cutting at Strines reaching a depth of 59 feet, has been filled in with debris except for the last 100 yds towards the tunnel. With the tunnel been on a 1/100 gradient towards Strines, the filled in cutting acts as a dam. Resulting in the water submerging the portal and backing 1/2 mile in the tunnel.
B.R.B (British Railway board) sold the land on sometime after the line closed. They often try sell on as much land as possible, but are still responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all bridges, viaducts, and tunnels though.
The new land owner seems to be a farmer/building contractor type. It’s not known where all the landfill came from, there are some huge boulders there, but whatever, it's from the business he runs, he's used the cutting for the landfill. Obviously over the years the water seeping in the tunnel (which runs downhill) has nowhere to go, it just gets deeper.
He was told by Network rail to pump out the cutting because they needed to do maintenance work in there, which he had attempted earlier this year. He was pretty pissed off about it too, he had to cover all the costs as well. But obviously he was fighting a loosing battle, and Network Rail have cleared the other portal, knocked down the retaining wall, erected the new fencing and they're going in that way.
Obviously since this was written the Tunnel has been pumped out a few times over the last year & there"s a new pump system running 24/7 through a filter system & pumping the clean water from the newly cleaned out tunnel drainage system into the nearby culvert (as it was previously) the Tunnel floor has been raised too create a sump over a few hundred feet from the Portal which now resides behind a Palisade fence system which encompasses the whole Portal and culvert entry area with Secca! Just to complete things there"s major misting inside the Tunnel due to the water coming down the shafts which is a pain trying too light the place up
The sealed North Portal is Network Rail at it"s finest, if only NR did the Channel Tunnel fences lol
The remains of the flotsam & jetsam litter the tunnel floor from the receding water & create yet more obstacles to avoid while keeping eyes above on the crumbling brickwork
Visited with Choo Choo @stranton & 4Gas following reports of possible low O2 etc (safety first:)
Enjoy Tunnel fans & usual viewers
Nothing too see here......move along