1951

SE1502 : Woodhead New Tunnel, Dunford Bridge portal, during early construction

taken 73 years ago, near to Dunford Bridge, Barnsley, England

Woodhead New Tunnel, Dunford Bridge portal, during early construction
Woodhead New Tunnel, Dunford Bridge portal, during early construction
View westward, from road at Dunford Bridge station. At this stage only the pilot tunnel was being bored. See also SK1199 : Westward view at Woodhead, SE1502 : Old Woodhead Tunnel etc.
Woodhead Tunnel and Sheffield (Victoria) - Manchester railway

Shortly before World War Two, a start was made on the electrification of the LNER main line between Rotherwood Sidings (east of Sheffield Victoria) and from Wath Central via the Worsbrough Branch to Penistone and over the Woodhead route to Manchester London Road and other points off the main line including Glossop. The war interrupted the electrification for over 10 years, although the steel standards for the overhead catenary bordered the route over the intervening period.
After the war it was found that the two 3-mile single-line Woodhead Tunnels (now almost 100 years old and traversed latterly by 100 steam trains a day) were almost collapsing and beyond economic repair. Therefore before the electrification could be completed a new much larger double-track tunnel would have to be built, parallel to and on the south side of the old bores. Work began in August 1949 and was completed, along with the electrification (also new stations at Dunford Bridge and Woodhead and a new bridge over the River Etherow at Woodhead) in June 1954. However, the pre-war scheme to electrify the railways through to Manchester Central, the Docks and the Trafford Park industrial area had been abandoned, 'Motorway Madness' ensued, the M62 was built instead and the whole modernised railway was closed down and ripped up (between Hadfield and Penistone) in July 1981!
My brother-in-law, Andrew Sharman, was Chief Site Engineer for the Consultants, Sir William Halcrow & Partners, for the New Woodhead Tunnel (also the Thurgoland Tunnel near Sheffield). He and his family were provided with a bungalow at the Dunford Bridge temporary workers' camp, so I used to visit and was taken all over (and into) the construction works, and took photographs. (See e.g. SK1199, SE1502, SE1602. For a detailed description of the whole project, see E.M. Johnson, 'Woodhead: the Electric Railway', Foxline, Stockport 2001: ISBN 870119 81 9).


Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Category: Railway tunnel
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SE1502, 156 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Photographer
Ben Brooksbank   (more nearby)
Date Taken
23 July 1951   (more nearby)
Submitted
Tuesday, 31 August, 2010
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 156 022 [100m precision]
WGS84: 53:30.9802N 1:45.9181W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SE 156 022
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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