Combe Down Tunnel Open Day (17 Jul 2010)

Saturday 17 July 2010 saw a chance to be able to walk through the disused mile long rail tunnel that burrows under Combe Down in Bath. Normally locked, this is the longest unventilated tunnel in the UK. It was last used by trains in 1966 and was sealed over in the early 1970s. The tunnel is going to be used as part of the four-mile route of the Two Tunnels Greenway. Planned to be open at the end of 2011, this route will link central Bath with cycle path NCN24 at Midford, as well as the long-established Bath to Bristol track. The route also comprises the shorter Devonshire Tunnel (north entrance recently dug out) plus various existing public routes such as Linear Park and Lyncombe Vale. New bridges will also be added to take the route over busy roads. The overall route is nearly flat and considerably shorter than the otherwise extremely hilly road route to the same location. Hard hats and torches were required for the walk, which took over 20 minutes. Groups of 30 went through every half an hour and I helped with the escorting this year. It was great to see the event creating so much interest - with all places taken and with local media coming along. It all just adds to the anticipation of the route being completed. Thanks go to the Two Tunnels Group and Wessex Water for making this event possible. A selection of photos is shown below.

Montage of the complete event

The amazing Tucking Mill Viaduct - that will also be used for the eventual route

Information display for the Two Tunnels Greenway

A Sustrans volunteer group arrives from the Wellow camp

The first Sustrans volunteer group get ready to go through the tunnel

Waiting for the next group to assemble

Frank briefs the second group of Sustrans volunteers

The volunteers wait to enter the tunnel

Frank is interview for the local BBC news programme "Points West"

My first group begins to enter the tunnel

The mile-plus march to Lyncombe Vale begins

Onwards through the tunnel

Onwards through the tunnel

Onwards through the tunnel

Onwards through the tunnel

Onwards through the tunnel

Onwards through the tunnel - light ahead

20 minutes later we're in Lyncombe Vale and preparing for the walk back

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Page last updated: 18 Jul 2010