Woodhead Tunnel Campaign

Any prospect of the line being relaid through Britain's longest disused tunnel has effectively vanished with completion of the National Grid's project to install power lines through it.

British Rail's 1954 tunnel through Woodhead last saw trains in 1981 when the route was controversially closed. It has sat idle ever since. Instead of using it as a cable run, environmental and transport campaigners believe that the railway should be reopened to increase the network's limited freight capacity and combat the blight of HGVs clogging up roads through the Peak District National Park.

This page will be updated to include articles related to the story as well as providing links to other sources of information.
Page last updated 5th November 2013
Words & pictures
Their line might be no longer but the three tunnels at Woodhead will always have a prominent place in the railway's history book.
Wellington A Purdon, who acted as surveyor on the first Woodhead Tunnel, provides a detailed account of its construction.
Woodhead's 'new' bore shut up shop just 27 years after it opened -
it's now our longest disused tunnel.
Pictures from the demo held at Woodhead's western portal on 12th January 2008.
January 2009
Clouds descend over Woodhead 01/1/09 The Rail Engineer
May 2008
Woodhead tunnel: a comedy of errors 01/5/08 The Rail Engineer
February 2008
Northern Way concerned for Woodhead... 13/2/08 RailStaff
Woodhead succumbs to tunnel vision 01/2/08 The Rail Engineer
January 2008
People power resists cable plan 15/1/08 RailStaff
Battle lines at Woodhead 01/1/08 The Rail Engineer
Off-site films and information
Archive film and cabview of both east and west approaches to the tunnel.
The Last Day
An enthusiast's camera captures Woodhead's last miserable day.
A potted history of Woodhead's three disused railway tunnels.
Off-site press stories
November 2013
Campaign fails to secure tunnels' future 05/11/13 Manchester Evening News
April 2013
Bid to bring trains back to Woodhead 04/4/13 Manchester Evening News
July 2011
New tunnel vision 01/7/11 Sheffield Telegraph
June 2009
Campaign to reopen tunnel on right track 19/6/09 The Star (South Yorkshire)
April 2009
Tunnel route 'unlikely' to reopen 23/4/09 Sheffield Telegraph
March 2009
Speedy decision on tunnel needed 12/3/09 Sheffield Telegraph
February 2009
MPs call for trans-Pennine link move 25/2/09 Cranswick Today
August 2008
Demonstrators gather for campaign 05/8/08 Sheffield Telegraph
July 2008
Demo in campaign to reopen rail route 23/7/08 Sheffield Telegraph
Plans unveiled for high-speed rail link 19/7/08 Huddersfield Examiner
March 2008
Tunnel vision reaps rewards 19/3/08 Glossop Advertiser
Woodhead tunnel decision delayed 19/3/08 Manchester Evening News
New blow to Woodhead tunnel hopes 18/3/08 The Star (South Yorkshire)
MPs call for train route to reopen 12/3/08 Fleetwood Weekly News
MP Angela Smith calls to preserve tunnel 11/3/08 The Star (South Yorkshire)
Rail route challenge as tunnel battle won 1/3/08 The Star (South Yorkshire)
February 2008
Woodhead tunnel fight: Kelly speaks out 27/2/08 Bolton News
Angela Smith in talks over future of... 26/2/08 The Star (South Yorkshire)
MEP calls for resort to have Chunnel link 12/2/08 This is Lancashire
'Save tunnel' plea to Blears 01/2/08 Manchester Evening News
Minister boosts rail tunnel campaign 01/2/08 Yorkshire Post
January 2008
Kelly forced to backtrack on Woodhead 25/1/08 The Star (South Yorkshire)
Save our tunnel appeal 22/1/08 Huddersfield Daily Examiner
MP's call for rail link tunnel vision 17/1/08 The Star (South Yorkshire)
Tunnel demo 'victory' 16/1/08 Glossop Advertiser
Protest over plans for Woodhead tunnel 15/1/08 The Star (South Yorkshire)
Woodhead fight goes on 13/1/08 Manchester Evening News
Bosses on board to save tunnel 11/1/08 Manchester Evening News
Call to block electricity line tunnel plan 10/1/08 The Star (South Yorkshire)
Fight stepped up to save tunnel 09/1/08 Glossop Advertiser
December 2007
Campaign for tunnel vision 27/12/08 Manchester Evening News
Protest over power line in rail tunnel 18/12/07 The Star (South Yorkshire)
Dormant lines could ease rail congestion 11/12/07 Manchester Evening News
September 2007
Bypass cable shock 19/9/07 Glossop Advertiser
Other resources
Campaign related pages
Save the Woodhead Tunnel
---- Campaign group's website, including archive of information on battle against the power lines.
Downing Street E-petition
E-petition to reopen Manchester-Sheffield rail route via Woodhead tunnel.
Early Day Motion (459)
Motion calling for Government intervention to "prevent this strategic route being lost forever".
Early Day Motion (779)
Motion asking Transport Secretary to urge the National Grid to repair the old tunnels.
Reopening proposals
Proposed use of Woodhead route as a rolling highway, taking HGVs off the A628.
Central Railway
Development of freight railway linking Britain with Europe via Woodhead.
PDF files
Peak District Planning Committee
Briefing paper: July 2007
Peak District Planning Committee
Briefing paper: September 2007
'Save the Woodhead Tunnel' flyer
Promotional campaign sheet
MPs' letter to Ruth Kelly

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