Summit Tunnel


Summit Tunnel

The Summit Tunnel in England is one of the oldest railway tunnels in the world: it was built between 1838 and 1841 by the Manchester and Leeds Railway beneath the Yorkshire Pennines. The tunnel is located between Littleborough and Walsden (near Todmorden) and created a vital gateway between Manchester and Leeds.

Engineering

The tunnel is just over 1.6 miles (2.6 km) long and carries two standard-gauge tracks in a single tube, which is shaped like a horseshoe approximately 7.2 m wide and 6.6 m high.

The tunnel was mined by hand through shale, coal and sandstone, then lined with six courses of bricks to form the horseshoe shape. It was aligned by drilling fourteen vertical shafts to provide survey points on the hillside above: after the tunnel was completed two shafts were closed and the remaining twelve were used as blast relief shafts to vent steam from the locomotives that passed through.

Recent years

Despite its age, the tunnel has been continuously used for passenger and freight since it opened, with one exception: it closed for the first eight months of 1985 following a very serious Summit Tunnel fire. The build up of heat in the surrounding ground led to the phenomenon of a 'false spring'. Many plants were seen to be producing flowers and buds as the warm soil triggered a period of new growth. Large portions of the tunnel have been lined with concrete. The tunnel is track circuited with 'reed' type track circuits and was changed in September 2008 to 'AC Vane' type.

ource

* Duncan, S. D. and Wilson, W., "Summit tunnel—post fire remedial works," 5th international symposium (Tunnelling '88), Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, 18–21 April 1988; ISBN 1-870706-01-3

Further reading

* MacDonald, M. The World From Rough Stones, Random House, 1975 (a novel set during the building of the Summit Tunnel).


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Summit Tunnel fire — The Summit Tunnel fire occurred on a dangerous goods train passing through the Summit Tunnel on the Greater Manchester/West Yorkshire border, between Littleborough and Todmorden, England.HistoryThe tunnel was built in the late 1830s and was… …   Wikipedia

  • Summit Railway Station — Infobox Station name=Summit type=New Zealand Government Railways Department regional rail image size= image caption= address= coordinates= coord|41|8|41.29|S|175|11|48.93|E|type:railwaystation region:NZ line=Wairarapa Line other= structure=… …   Wikipedia

  • Tunnel — This article is about underground passages. For other uses, see Tunnel (disambiguation). Underground tunnel for heatpipes between Rigshospitalet and Amagerværket in Denmark …   Wikipedia

  • Summit Avenue (Hudson Palisades) — County Route 617 Summit Avenue Route information Length: 4.55 mi …   Wikipedia

  • Summit County, Colorado — Infobox U.S. County county = Summit County state = Colorado founded year = 1861 founded date = November 1 seat wl = Breckenridge largest city wl = Silverthorne city type = town area total sq mi = 608.2 area total km2 = 1733.4 area land sq mi =… …   Wikipedia

  • Summit level canal — A summit level canal is an artificial waterway connecting two separate river valleys. It was an essential step in developing transport systems connecting different parts of a country before the railways or modern road transport. The first canal… …   Wikipedia

  • Ardglen Tunnel — The Ardglen Tunnel is a summit tunnel on the Main North railway in New South Wales, Australia, between Newcastle and Werris Creek. It crosses under the Liverpool Range near its east end below Nowland Pass (otherwise known as Murrurundi Gap), the… …   Wikipedia

  • Gallitzin Tunnel — Infobox tunnel name = Gallitzin Tunnels caption = Conrail 6169 leading a westbound train through the west portal of the Gallitzin Tunnel in 1993. The west portal of the Allegheny Tunnel is at right line = location = Gallitzin, Pennsylvania… …   Wikipedia

  • Japan–Korea Undersea Tunnel — The proposed routes for the Japan–Korea undersea tunnel. The Japan–Korea Undersea Tunnel (also: Korea–Japan Undersea Tunnel, JPN–KOR Tunnel, 한일 해저 터널, and 日韓トンネル) is a proposed tunnel project to connect Japan with Republic of Korea (South Korea)… …   Wikipedia

  • Cowburn Tunnel — Airshaft, Colborne In this picture, taken fr …   Wikipedia