Securing a future for one of England’s longest disused railway tunnels – Rail Engineer
Lost within the undulations of Britain’s varied landscape are upwards of 600 railway tunnels which were stripped of their operational status as circumstances changed. Some of these have great scale and a compelling story to tell.
By default, redundant tunnels tend to be looked upon as burdens. However, over recent years, around 60 have been rehabilitated as conduits for cycle paths – a role which fits very comfortably with today’s health and environmental responsibilities. More than 100 are owned by the Department for Transport (DfT) and looked after on its behalf by the Historical Railways Estate (HRE), part of Highways England. Queensbury Tunnel in West Yorkshire sits amongst that collection and presents the highest risk profile.
Driven by the Great Northern Railway in the mid 1870s, the tunnel was explored by a newspaper reporter a few months ahead of its opening. He asserted that “the pyramids of Egypt sink into insignificance compared with such a work”. Securing a future for one of England’s longest disused railway tunnels – Rail Engineer