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Thread: Toft Tunnel, near Bourne, Lincs, May 2017

  1. #1
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    Default Toft Tunnel, near Bourne, Lincs, May 2017


    1. The History
    The Bourne to Saxby Railway Act was authorized in 1888 allowing the Eastern & Midlands Railway Company (EMRC) establish a connection between the industries of the Midlands with the East Coast ports. Part of the link was to the west from Bourne where Eastern were building the line while Midland pushed east from Saxby. Despite an outbreak of smallpox amongst the navies the two railways met at Little Bytham.

    Resident engineer George MacDonald was in charge of the lineís construction and the most challenging section of the line was the ridge to the west of Bourne. Hence the Toft Tunnel to be driven at a length of 330-yards. Initial work started in November 1890 with an initial workforce of 100 navvies. Work on the tunnel proved difficult and the workforce was increased to approximately 400. The main issue was the extraction of 300,000 cubic yards of shale. In the spring of 1893 the two-track tunnel was eventually completed with the use of around 2.5 million Staffordshire blue brindles (bricks) to line the tunnel. The first goods train passed through in June that year. Passenger traffic started just under a year later, by which time the E&M had been acquired by Midland and Great Northern.

    Toft tunnel was built with imposing portals, being brick-built with some masonry detailing. They include a course of semi-circular blocks that frames the four-brick thick lining, typical of many GN portals. Inside, refuges are staggered between the two sides. In the face of vociferous local opposition, both passenger and goods services ended in February 1959 and work to remove the tracks started in 1962. The approach cuttings and land over the tunnel now form the Toft Tunnel Nature Reserve while the bore itself is a bat hibernaculum.

    2. The Explore
    Relaxed explore on a lovely spring day. Big up to The Wombat for the tip-off about this place. Went in the hard way (east end) and came out the easy way (west end). The tunnel is very clear and very straight and well worth an hour or so of your time. One thing that is noticeable is that there as been for more leaching of water at the west end and hence the brick lining at the east end of the tunnel is a lot more smooth. Thereís plenty of light in the tunnel given its relatively short bore, hence I didnít even need to light paint.

    3. The Pictures
    Letís start at the east end:

    img0346 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Down the bank we go:

    img0352 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Spotted a way in?

    imf0345 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0357 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And weíre in!

    img0359 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Refuge no.15:

    img0360 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Note tunnel lining is very smooth here:

    img0362 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Looking back eastwards through the tunnel:

    img0371 by HughieDW, on Flickr



    Refuge no.1!

    img0373 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    You can clearly see all the leaching here:

    img0383 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0395 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Refuge no.29:

    img0403 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0387 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0400 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0401 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And on to the west end:

    img0367 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And out we pop at the west end:

    img0413 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0377 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0412 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img0381 by HughieDW, on Flickr

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    Thanks given by: flyboys90, Hugh Jorgan, jsp77, krela, Mearing, Mikeymutt, mockingbird, prettyvacant71, The Wombat, theartist, thorfrun

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  3. #2
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    Nice work mate, glad it went well :)
    It's quite a nice walk in the area around the tunnel too
    Black cat exploring company
    & LSD - Leicester Super Derpers

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

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    Nice bit of photography that Hughie, great shots, Thanks
    Smiler
    😁

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombat View Post
    Nice work mate, glad it went well :)
    It's quite a nice walk in the area around the tunnel too
    Cheers mate. Yeah...looked it. Shame I was, as always, pushed for time.

    Quote Originally Posted by smiler View Post
    Nice bit of photography that Hughie, great shots, Thanks
    Cheers Smiler. Really pleased with my new wide angle 10-18mm zoom.

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  6. #5
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    Not going to lie, I'm impressed you've got enough to make a report on this tunnel. I stopped off here last year and didn't even get my camera out.... just walked down, nope, walked back up to the car
    | LSD | TC |

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by elhomer12 View Post
    Not going to lie, I'm impressed you've got enough to make a report on this tunnel. I stopped off here last year and didn't even get my camera out.... just walked down, nope, walked back up to the car
    Cheers man. At first there appears there isn't much to tunnels but if you take your time and have a tripod and touch you can look at them from different perspectives.

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  8. #7
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    Enjoyed that a lot hughie thanks.i need more underground.hopefylly this weekend.great stuff mate
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

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    Nice one Hughie

    Must get round a few more of these tunnels myself at some point.

    ----------
    Thanks given by: HughieD

  10. #9
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    Great bit of history there!

    Thats how i like my palisade, swiveling to the side

    Love that shot of the danger sign fab light. I enjoyed that thanx HD!
    ...

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    Thanks given by: HughieD

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeymutt View Post
    Enjoyed that a lot hughie thanks.i need more underground.hopefylly this weekend.great stuff mate
    Looking forward to your report mate. Can't beat a bit of tunnel acton.

    Quote Originally Posted by jsp77 View Post
    Nice one Hughie

    Must get round a few more of these tunnels myself at some point.
    Cheers JSP. Getting quite into them.

    Quote Originally Posted by prettyvacant71 View Post
    Great bit of history there!

    Thats how i like my palisade, swiveling to the side

    Love that shot of the danger sign fab light. I enjoyed that thanx HD!
    Cheers PV! They should patent that type of fence.

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