- Jun 7, 2014
- Reaction score
Just a short one from here with not many pics (yeah u heard that right) dropped by here with my lad a few months back but didnt venture far in as it all seemed a bit the same tbh.
The entrance is enchantingly overgrown & we did manage a bit of excitement being chased by a farmer when we left.
The history shamelessly nicked from an old report
Ashby Tunnel was originally opened as a tunnel in 1804, As a cheaper way of connecting the Coventry canal from Bedworth to mining districts around Moira, Leicestershire than extending the Canal.
Work on the tunnels cutting was authorised in 1799 and It was a requirement that the tunnel's walls at the sides must be a minimum of 18" thick, the arch 13" and the invert 9". The width of the tunnel was also required to be 11 feet wide. Traffic first passed through the tunnel in late 1802. Two years later, the possibility of creating a shaft to provide more light in the tunnel was looked into but thats as far as it went.
In 1845 the Midland Railway came along, looking to remove any possible competitors from the Leicestershire coalfields, and bought the Ashby canal for @£110,000 (roughly @£12,000,000 in todays money). They immediately worked towards building a line from Swannington and Leicester, at Coalville, through Moira to the newly acquired Birmingham-Derby route at Burton upon Trent. There was a clause however, "keep the canal intact and in good repair for the purposes of trade until the completion of the railway and as long after as may be deemed expedient". After 20 years, The Midland obtained an Act to extend its Worthington branch into Ashby-de-la-Zouch where it would meet up with the Leicester-Burton line. The majority of this was laid on the track bed of the Cloud Hill Tramway, only coming away from the tramway in places where they needed to realign the line to ease curvature. The tunnel was rebored to be able to have a standard gauge line to run through it. As well as widening the tunnel, the workmen shortened the tunnel at its western end. When it reopened as a rail link, it was just 308 yards long.
The section of track from New Lount Colliery to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, passing through the tunnel, lost its usual traffic prior to the second world war but used by the Army. The route returned to the London Midland Scotland Railway (LMS) on 1st January 1945 but traffic didn"t return. The last train through the tunnel looks as though it was a rail tour on 28th June 1952 and the tunnel had its second official closure on 9th may 1955.
So there u have it, its a tunnel, here are the pics
Thats ya lot!