Sandsend Ness Rail Tunnel - April 08

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Veteran Member
Apr 19, 2008
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This was covered a few times on 28days but I did a search and it hasent appeared here. I've been wanting to take a walk through here for a while and with two friends I did.

Operated by NER and built in 1883 & closed in 1958 the track was dismantled in the early 60's. The tunnel is 1652 yards long and is straight untill you reach the kettleness end where there is a slight curve of about 30degrees over 30 meters of the tunnel. There are 4 vertical airshafts, all capped with wood boarding (!) and 2 horizontal air tunnels which are boggy deathtraps, one of which has collapsed. They are about 2 meters in hight supported by mine style wooden roof support beams. Both portals are protected by a 7ft high brick wall which is easy to circomvent in both cases.

I read on some Whitby related site that the tunnel is supposedly haunted and a few people have seen white lights pass through the walls as well as hear steam whistles and the screech of train brakes. Intresting, but I was on my own in the pitch black for 5 mins at a time while setting the camera up and I din't see anything, lol.

Another slightly disturbing thing was the smell of rotten eggs about halfway (H2S mabey). Because we were next to one of the horizontal shafts letting air in, we went on.

The kettleness portal has recently (within the past 15 days) collapsed but is still passable.

Hazards: Rectangular flooded manholes about 7ft deep either side of the trackbed against the tunnel wall. These are very easy to fall down and there are many of them some are covered, some are not. So be careful.

About halfway, you can see where the sleepers were placed.

Air shaft

Drainage Tunnel

Looking back, just before the bend at the end. If you look at the wall on the left, you can see its already started a little :)

The collapsed kettleness portal

nb - exact date incuded since it's a tunnel. If this is still inapropriate please let me know.
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Sep 20, 2005
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Bristol, UK.
nb - exact date incuded since it's a tunnel. If this is still inapropriate please let me know.

It is.

It's not manageable having one rule for some posts and another rule for others.

Please don't include exact dates.


Veteran Member
Apr 19, 2007
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Cracking set of pics especially the air shaft. Ive walked through this tunnel twice many years ago and it was horrendous then looks like things have got worse since well done and again great pics.

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