Arley Tunnel works in the 1990s

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pt_mad

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Bit of an obscure topic but does anyone know what work was carried out as part of the major refurb of Arley Tunnel (between Bham New Street and Nuneaton) in the mid 1990s?

I am not even sure of the exact year but I lived close at the time and the whole railway was closed at various times for quite a while.

I woke up a few times to hear the sound of what I can only describe as an air-raid siren and then a train would travel up the line.

I saw some footage through the tunnel recently and althought it was dark (obviously) the whole thing including the floor appeared to be lined with concrete.
 
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The Planner

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I suspect it was concrete slabbed as the ground up there is a bit unstable with all the mine workings and probably gauge enhancement at the same time.
 

pt_mad

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I suspect it was concrete slabbed as the ground up there is a bit unstable with all the mine workings and probably gauge enhancement at the same time.
It also looked like there were sort of big indents in the tunnel walls at the bottom, about a metre wide by a metre tall. The indents are every few metres throughout the tunnel.

There was a group of daft teenagers who used to walk through the tunnel for a laugh. One of them once said there were 'chambers' to clamber into if a train comes past. I presume these chambers were the indents I am describing.

The whole thing looks pretty damn modern for a cross country line tunnel.
 

Bald Rick

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It was closed for the best part of a year from (i think) March 1993, although it was supposed to be only 6 months, it somewhat overran. I was commuting Melton Mowbray to Birmingham at the time, and the train I used diverted via Coventry, some of them terminated there.

The work was indeed clearance for SB1c swap bodies (what is now W9 clearance). The tunnel lining and track was in a terrible state, and this was all replaced. There was a 20mph Speed restriction in place beforehand which was removed on completion.
 

Hydro

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The "chambers" are tunnel recesses, and are a place of safety when trains are approaching. Not really used in the present day as tunnels are on the whole no-go areas without line blockages.

The "air raid" siren would have been the warning siren on a tamper or track machine. This is used when the machine is working adjacent to open lines. A lookout initiates the warning via a wander lead to warn the crew and work gang a train is about to pass adjacent to the worksite, and to stay within the safe area.
 

pt_mad

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It was closed for the best part of a year from (i think) March 1993, although it was supposed to be only 6 months, it somewhat overran. I was commuting Melton Mowbray to Birmingham at the time, and the train I used diverted via Coventry, some of them terminated there.

The work was indeed clearance for SB1c swap bodies (what is now W9 clearance). The tunnel lining and track was in a terrible state, and this was all replaced. There was a 20mph Speed restriction in place beforehand which was removed on completion.
All very interesting stuff. Yes I thought it was closed for a long time. It would be shocking for the line to be closed for that long now wouldn't it?

I was literally about 5 when all this happened and actually thought there was going to be a war the first night I heard that siren!
 
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Martin_1981

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Yes, it was closed from March to December 1993 if I remember rightly. When I lived in Leicester (when I were a nipper!!), I used to travel to Birmingham once a month to visit my Grandparents.

The Norwich/Cambridge- Birmingham trains which we used to catch ran to/from Coventry, where we changed for Birmingham. There were a small number of direct Leicester-Birmingham services which ran via Coventry as well if I remember. There were also buses between Nuneaton and Birmingham too.

Martin
 

pt_mad

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Some great info there thanks guys!

Changing the subject slightly was there once a station somewhere near Old Arley/Daw Mill?

And was a station planned for Galley Common/Haunchwood in the mid 90s before being abandonned?
 
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