Gildersome Tunnel

(Photos 3-9 © Phill Davison, photo 11 © K Evans)

The LNWR’s ‘new’ main line into Leeds incorporated a 1 in 70 descent through Gildersome Tunnel - a formidable 2,331-yard structure. When, after its closure, the M62 and M621 were built over it, a section extending from the southern portal was infilled with 30,000 cubic yards of colliery waste for reinforcement. Although this end is now buried, the eerie northern entrance still survives, along with the stone retaining walls of its approach cutting.

(The remarkable interior photographs together with the shot of the ventilation chimney were kindly provided by Phill Davison. In November 2007, together with three friends from the Leeds Historical Expedition Society, he became one of a handful of people to enter the tunnel since it was closed.

An illustrated account of Phill's adventure is available on his blog. Click here for the full, extraordinary story. There's even a video!

Many thanks also to Mr K Evans for his picture of the southern portal in 1987, before the site was landscaped.)
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