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Linslade Tunnel - Why so architecturally elegant?

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DarloRich

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Linslade Tunnel - Why so architecturally elegant: because the land owner in 18XX ( Lord Snooty Tooty, the 17th Earl of lots of cash) asked for it no doubt.

It is also possible the Victorian contractors took a pride in showing off the quality of their work and their materials.
 
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SargeNpton

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To respond to the original question...

Many tunnels and other infrastructure on the early railway had these architectural flourishes. Search out pictures of Clayton Tunnel on the Brighton Line, or the Conwy Bridge in North Wales, as other good examples.
 

SargeNpton

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Strange that all your examples and my one have a castle like theme.
For Conwy, it was to blend in with the adjacent castle. Elsewhere, perhaps it was to give an impression of strength and permanence to the structure.
 

AlterEgo

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It was simply the style at the time - there are loads of tunnel portals with castle themes, not least Primrose Hill Tunnel at the start of the WCML.
 

DoubleO

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Bramhope Tunnel has pretty impressive portals, especially on the North side, and also has a miniature replica in a local graveyard as a memory to those who died during construction....
 

ainsworth74

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I can't recall the name of the tunnel but I'm sure there's one on the way towards Brigg (I think between Gainsborough and Brigg) that has a very impressive portal for what is now very much a backwater even by backwater branch line standards.
 

TheEdge

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Linslade Tunnel - Why so architecturally elegant: because the land owner in 18XX ( Lord Snooty Tooty, the 17th Earl of lots of cash) asked for it no doubt.

It is also possible the Victorian contractors took a pride in showing off the quality of their work and their materials.

It's impressive how many oddities of the British rail network are down to Lord Snooty Tooty, his family and their various demands to allow the railway across their land.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Presumably the initial structure (1837) was the central double track tunnel.
The LNWR went to 3 tracks in about 1858 I think, adding an up goods line from Bletchley to Primrose Hill, and then to 4 tracks in the 1870s.
So there were probably 3 separate tunnelling projects through the ridge at Linslade, and we are looking at the most recent.
At some point, the curious arrangement of single tunnels for the up slow/down fast tracks, leaving the original double tunnel for the down slow/up fast tracks must have been decided.
All this on one of the sharpest curves on the WCML, run today by Pendolinos at 125mph on full tilt - always a thrill.
This is one of the locations I can't see Avanti's new 80x running at 125mph - it's one of the locations which has lower EPS speed restrictions for Voyagers.
 

fgwrich

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It's impressive how many oddities of the British rail network are down to Lord Snooty Tooty, his family and their various demands to allow the railway across their land.

You also have oddballs like Marley Tunnel in South Devon, built as the local land owner did not wish to have a cutting placed through his land at the time. None of that particularly matters now, as instead of having some of the Rolling hills and fields of South Devon over the top of it, it now has a large junction for the A38 duel carriageway instead!
 

yoyothehobo

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I can't recall the name of the tunnel but I'm sure there's one on the way towards Brigg (I think between Gainsborough and Brigg) that has a very impressive portal for what is now very much a backwater even by backwater branch line standards.
Is that Kirton Linsey?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Fixed that for you ;)
It would have had to be DP1, if a Deltic on the WCML.
An EE Type 4 would be more appropriate, as they were staple power through the resignalling period c1963 which is when the LMS semaphores disappeared.
The 1963 mail train robbery (D326) was not far from Linslade.
 

D6130

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IIRC, some of the ornamental Victorian tunnel portals (e.g. Bramhope and Clayton) included living accommodation for the tunnel watchmen and their families.
 

ABB125

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I really like "fancy" tunnel portals - far more interesting than modern concrete rubbish!
Couldn't they at least go to the effort of sticking some of the fake masonry you can get to make your house look more interesting onto the concrete of modern infrastructure? A miniscule additional cost that makes it much more interesting.
 

zwk500

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I really like "fancy" tunnel portals - far more interesting than modern concrete rubbish!
Couldn't they at least go to the effort of sticking some of the fake masonry you can get to make your house look more interesting onto the concrete of modern infrastructure? A miniscule additional cost that makes it much more interesting.
You can't reopen the line until you're certain nothing will fall onto the line. Easiest way to make sure of that is not put anything up there in the first place! Otherwise you have to pay somebody to sit there for a couple of hours until the mortar has set and then check it hasn't shifted.
 

najaB

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A miniscule additional cost that makes it much more interesting.
But, at the end of the day, an additional cost for little practical benefit. So it's not going to get past the accountants.
 

ABB125

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You can't reopen the line until you're certain nothing will fall onto the line. Easiest way to make sure of that is not put anything up there in the first place! Otherwise you have to pay somebody to sit there for a couple of hours until the mortar has set and then check it hasn't shifted.

But, at the end of the day, an additional cost for little practical benefit. So it's not going to get past the accountants.
Don't let practicalities get in the way!

(Admittedly I was thinking more of new-build, eg: HS2, rather than retrofit. Though obviously if a tunnel is being closed for maintenance for a few days or something, that would be an opportunity for retrofitment. I appreciate it's not going to happen though!)
 

richieb1971

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There are 4 tunnels in Bedfordshire and this is the only one that has any grandeur about it.

I must admit I've learned a lot about tunnel portals today :)
 

HSTEd

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For clutter read: "Critical infrastructure allowing for the operation of a modern railway" :lol:

I would hesitate to suggest that signals are necessary to allow for the operation of a modern railway, these days! :lol:

I will get my coat.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I can't find a picture, but I think the Channel Tunnel portals are very plain.
I know ET had to downgrade plans for something fancier, as they were so much in debt.
Very few people can see them anyway, with all the security protection.
I expect HS2 tunnels will be similar.
 

PeterY

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Correct if I'm wrong, is the down fast bore at Linslade tunnel, a really tight bore, smaller than the up slow ?
 
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