Home Heritage Video: Reopening Queensbury Tunnel

Video: Reopening Queensbury Tunnel

In West Yorkshire, the campaign to reopen a disused railway tunnel as part of an ambitious cycle network is approaching a critical point with the completion of on-site investigations by engineers acting for Bradford Council. Once complete, their study will inform decision-making about the viability of repairing the tunnel – parts of which are in poor condition – and the associated costs.

Meanwhile, Highways England – which manages 3,200 disused railway structures on behalf of the Department for Transport – is progressing an abandonment scheme which will result in parts of the tunnel being infilled. Subject to planning permission, the work will start soon at a cost to the taxpayer of more than £3 million.

Last year, a Sustrans study suggested that the cycle network could generate £37.6 million in social and economic benefits over 30 years. It’s generally accepted that reopening the tunnel will present significant challenges, but it’s also a once-only opportunity to connect the emerging cycle networks in the Aire and Calder valleys.

Graeme Bickerdike
Graeme Bickerdikehttp://www.railengineer.co.uk
SPECIALIST AREAS Tunnels and bridges, historic structures and construction techniques, railway safetyGraeme Bickerdike's association with the railway industry goes back to the mid-nineties when he was contracted to produce safety awareness videos and printed materials aimed at the on-track community. This led to him heading a stream of work to improve the way safety rules are communicated and understood - ultimately simplifying them - for which he received the IRSE’s Wing Award for Safety in 2007. In 2005, Graeme launched a website to catalogue and celebrate some of the more notable disused railway structures which still grace Britain’s landscape. Several hundred have since had their history researched and a photographic record captured. A particular focus has been the construction methods adopted by Victorian engineers and contractors; as a result, the site has become a useful resource for those with asset management responsibilities. Graeme has been writing for Rail Engineer for the past ten years, generally looking at civil engineering projects and associated issues. He has a deep appreciation of the difficulties involved in building tunnels and viaducts through the 19th Century, a trait which is often reflected in his stories.

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