Hidden Manchester Map

Tunnels, rivers, mines & subterranean spaces of Hidden Manchester

> Woodhead Tunnels 📍

This is the route of three previous railway tunnels linking Woodhead and Dunford Bridge. A number of shafts were sunk along the route—some of which are still intact. You can read loads more about the tunnels and their construction on Forgotten Relics.

The Woodhead Tunnels are three parallel trans-Pennine 3-mile (4.8 km) long railway tunnels on the Woodhead Line, a former major rail link from Manchester to Sheffield in Northern England. The western portals of the tunnels are at Woodhead in Derbyshire and the eastern portals are at Dunford Bridge, near Penistone, South Yorkshire.

Woodhead 1 was one of the world's longest railway tunnels when it opened in 1845. Woodhead 2 was completed in 1853 and Woodhead 3 opened almost exactly 100 years later in 1953. Passenger services ended in 1970 and the last train passed through in 1981.

The tunnels are currently owned by National Grid plc who initially used Woodhead 1 and 2 to carry power cables and in 2008 started to install new cables in Woodhead 3. The use of Woodhead 3 for power cables was controversial as it would create difficulties in reinstating rail services on the line, and was resisted by a sizeable campaign.

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