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Rowthorne Tunnel

Local History > Local History 1 > Glapwell & Rowthorne
Rowthorne Tunnel.

Article in the Railway Magazine May 1941 from Philip Cousins.

North Portal 1949
South Portal 1924

Drawings and Photographs from Glynn Waite.

The tunnel to the north of the station running in to Glapwell colliery station it is 929 yards long and had two air shafts about half way along its length, in the fields along its length are two air shafts, at both ends of the tunnel were deep cuttings, at the south end little remains to suggest its existence. With the two air shafts to the tunnel it would appear then that the cutting of the tunnel would have been done using six working faces, one from each end and four others, two from each of the air shafts.

Although the capping stones have been utilised as parking bollards in the car park at the start of the trail little remains of the tunnel. The tunnel was filled in with household refuse and landscaped to form part of the Rowthorn Trail sometime in the 1970’s but there are still several small reminders of the railway like rotting sleepers and telegraph pole stumps and some ironware from the rails themselves.

Mining subsidence was a major contributing factor to the closure of the tunnel and repair work was carried out on a regular basis to the northern end of the tunnel when the tunnel was in use. The tunnel was used as a mushroom farm from 1935. (Agreement dated 20/01/1935). It was taken over during the Second World War by the Royal Air Force to store munitions in at the south end where the tunnel was not subject to subsidence. Lorries delivered the munitions to site down an access road and turned around; it was then unloaded onto a narrow gauge railway at the station and delivered underground for safe storage. There was a small RAF base on site with all the usual buildings and amenities for the men including toilets, guard house, canteen, officer and airman’s accommodation and a sentry post.

Last photograph shows the site of the north portal today. The line ran to the left on athe elevated section which has been back filled to close the tunnel forever.

South 1924

North 1924

Interior 1924


South 1924
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