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Thread: Old Warden Railway Tunnel March 2012

  1. #1
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    Default Old Warden Railway Tunnel March 2012


    This took me a while to find the entrance to despite knowing about it for years, i didnt realise there was a wildlife reserve above it.

    Heres some history taken from Wikipedia:
    History:
    The Tunnel was built as part of the Midland Railway connecting Bedford and Hitchin, and from there to London between 1853 and 1857. Contrary to popular belief the line lost its passenger services before the cuts of Dr. Beeching, they were withdrawn on January 1st 1962 along with goods services between Hitchin and Shefford. Goods services between Shefford and Bedford succumbed to the Beeching Axe on December 28th 1964. Built of blue engineering bricks, the tunnel is ovoid in shape and runs at a very slight gradient to allow drainage; however, it is perfectly straight.

    The tunnel has no blast relief ducts, due to its lack of curves and relatively short length, allowing good air passage. Regular niches were cut into the wall to allow maintenance on the permanent way during running hours. Finally, both portals were capped with stone and it covers a total length of 882 yards.

    The Tunnel Today:
    The tunnel has lain derelict for over 40 years, but is in fair condition, with the Hitchin end back-filled to within 7 feet of the tunnel roof and the Bedford end bricked up with gratings for local bats. Entrance to the tunnel is not recommended, due to bats and standing water accumulation. The Bedford Portal is still visible in its cutting, but the Hitchin Portal is entirely covered in undergrowth.

    The Tunnel is also famous for making a breif appearance in the film Those Magnificent Men In their Flying Machines.



    Onwards with my photos, starting with the view towards Bedford showing the Cutting:


    Now the Entrance taken from track level:


    How these two cars got to this place i do not know:




    Now we move inside the Tunnel:








    I was pressed for time so i did not make it all the way through the tunnel so there are no photos from the other end for now.

  2. Thanks given by: highcannons, trainman
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  4. #2
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    Your photos came out better than mine did. I was there earlier this year too.

    It's funny how that tunnel seems to get longer the more you walk into it. We actually found the other end but from the top, and that was an epic task, it's fairly well hidden and overgrown now, but we made it in the end.

    Steve
    Why go through a door when there's a perfectly good window?
    www.derelict-omj.co.uk

  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by omj624p View Post
    Your photos came out better than mine did. I was there earlier this year too.

    It's funny how that tunnel seems to get longer the more you walk into it. We actually found the other end but from the top, and that was an epic task, it's fairly well hidden and overgrown now, but we made it in the end.

    Steve
    Im glad you like the photos, i must have taken 20 odd in the tunnel and they are the pick of the bunch. I did actualy attempt to find the other end of the tunnel the next day but the land owner was pretty firm in asking me to leave.

  6. #4
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    Hope you dont mind me adding these, this are from the other side...

    Had to walk round the side of this field with horses in, since we were going round the side I figured I wasnt on anyones land...



    Took us a while to find this, it's very well hidden...



    And the view to the other side...



    Steve
    Why go through a door when there's a perfectly good window?
    www.derelict-omj.co.uk

  7. Thanks given by: trainman
  8. #5
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    It can be hard to get decent lit pics in a large tunnel but looks like you have managed ok.Good work.

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