(Photo 1 © Richard Earlam, photos 2-6 © TheNewMendoza,
photos 7-10 © Ian Gill)
June 1892 saw the arrival of the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway in Chesterfield, having built a line from its main north-south route at Staveley. Within months, a southern extension was opened to form 'the Chesterfield loop', passing immediately through a straight tunnel of 474 yards which emerged from under Hollis Lane. Towards its southern end was a single full-width ventilation shaft.
The through route was severed in June 1963 but the tunnel continued to serve Hydes Siding until 13th January 1964. By the summer of 1985, its northern portal and 25 yards of brickwork had been cut back to accommodate Chesterfield's new Inner Relief Road. At the south end, the 85-yard section from the shaft to the portal was also lost, with an access ramp constructed for inspection and maintenance purposes.
Today, the southern end remains open, hemmed in by concrete retaining walls. However, without effective drainage, the tunnel is now prone to flooding, the depth of which is reported to reach several feet on occasions.
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