Return to Sandsend Tunnel

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A long overdue return with a decent torch and decent camera.

The Kettleness portal is looking much closer to collapse than ever before, with a large amount of soil falling through from above and large stones hanging.

Sandsend Tunnel Collapsing Portal Sandsend Tunnel Collapsing Portal

Although once inside this end of the tunnel constructed from large blocks still looks very solid, although there was some bowing of the walls and collapsed layers of brick in certain areas towards the brick-built Sandsend end.

Sandsend Tunnel Sandsend Tunnel collapsing bricks

There are four ventilation shafts along the length of the tunnel, which seem to come in large and small varieties. All are capped, with fallen bricks and water cascading down them.

Sandsend Tunnel Ventilation Shaft Sandsend Tunnel Ventilation Shaft

Sandsend Tunnel Ventilation Shaft

There are two small side tunnels used in construction, which run from the bottom of air shafts, although both looked extremely muddy due to the water from the shafts so we didn’t venture down them.

Sandsend Tunnel Escape Tunnel Sandsend Tunnel Escape Tunnel

There are some impressive mineral formations lining the walls of the tunnel.

Sandsend Tunnel mineral formations Sandsend Tunnel mineral formations

Also stalactites growing from the roof.

Sandsend Tunnel stalactites Sandsend Tunnel stalactites

Dozens of alcoves line the full length of the tunnel, with the occasional bit of amusing graffiti.

Sandsend Tunnel Refuge Sandsend Tunnel Skeleton Grafitti

Exiting at the Sandsend portal is a small climb, although once you’re jumped over the wall there’s no easy way to go back.

Sandsend Tunnel Sandsend Tunnel



7 thoughts on “Return to Sandsend Tunnel

  1. decided to have a walk through both Kettleness & Sandsend tunnels on Thursday 1/05/08.
    Kettleness tunnel was fine but on approaching Sandsend tunnel it has collapsed taking a rather large tree with it. Although it is passable it has exposed more soil above the now new opening. I fear another collapse would totally block this entrance and this end of Sandsend tunnel would become inpassable. It seem’s a shame this once mighty tunnel will soon be lost.

  2. I will clear the current collapse and will always be on standby to clear more if need be.

    It wont be lost on my watch.

  3. Well done David. The tunnels should be preserved (at least kept intact) as a testament to those engineers and navvies who built the WRMU, and provided such an exciting coastal railway line, with some stunning views. I am only disappointed that I was born too late to ride the line! If I lived permanently in the NE (I am London based, and only get up here on occasion) I would be only too keen to get involved in some simple restoration works.

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