Two Victorian rail tunnels in the Pennines are to be sealed, dashing hopes the historic Manchester to Sheffield route could be reopened. Transport Minister Stephen Hammond made the decision not to buy the Woodhead tunnels, between South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, from owners National Grid. A new tunnel replaced the Victorian route in 1953.
The line closed in 1981. Campaigners hoped power cables could be moved into the older tunnels and trains returned to the newer tunnel. Read more: BBC News 1 This is not good news.
The chronic traffic problems on the A628 could have been considerably eased if this rail route were to reopen. HGV’s could then be banned from the A628 but given the option of using trains using the roll on roll off method as used on the Channel Tunnel for their journey between the M60 and M1 otherwise they could use the longer and slower route via the M62. Only in short sighted Britain would a modern fully electrified main line be neglected and then closed.
The history of the Woodhead line is fascinating and Ashton under Lyne features large in its history.
Click here 2 for more info and here 3 to watch a sad video of the last day of the line before closure.
Tameside Citizen References ^ BBC News (www.bbc.co.uk) ^ here (en.wikipedia.org) ^ here (www.youtube.com)
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Tameside Citizen: Woodhead rail tunnels to be sealed