Smaller falls in Whitrope Tunnel increase in size after almost 20 years, Know why

Published by
Jason Miller

In March 2002, a collapse adjacent to the south portal of Whitrope Tunnel deposited tonnes of rock onto the trackbed of the former Waverley line, the much-missed cross-border link between Edinburgh and Carlisle. More minor falls have increased the size of the debris heap over the subsequent 20 years.

This tunnel section was historically a cause for concern, and engineers had already installed a series of strengthening ribs to provide additional support. But they needed to be in a better place, allowing the lining to fail.

Recently another significant collapse of material has resulted in the tunnel being wholly blocked and a hole appearing through which daylight can be seen.

Any reuse of the tunnel as part of an extension to the Borders Railway will now require reconstruction of the southernmost 30 metres.

Those who have been inside the tunnel over the past few weeks report that the blockage has resulted in a loss of air flow and low oxygen levels. The structure should therefore be regarded as dangerous.

Whitrope Tunnel was arguably the most significant structure on the Border Union Railway. It opened in 1862 and is Scotland’s fifth-longest railway tunnel at 1,208 yards.

600 navvies worked on construction at its peak, sinking five shafts from the bleak moorland above.

400 gallons of water gushed into the workings every minute.

Jason Miller

Recent Posts

Dobbies’ Ayr store partners with Red Squirrel Survival Trust

Ayrshire: Garden Centre hosts free Grow How session on endangered species. Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden… Read More

6 hours ago

UK: Lifestylist Coach Georgia Johnson congratulates Sophie for accomplishing her Fat loss journey

The United Kingdom-based lifestyle Coach, identified as Georgia Johnson Lifestyle, extended her pleasure to coach… Read More

6 hours ago

Keighley, UK: £1 million funding to be funded for Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, MP Robbie shares update

Keighley, UK: The British Conservative Party Politician and Member of Parliament for Keighley Constituency in the… Read More

7 hours ago

Golden Milestone Celebrated: Ronald and Patricia marks 50 years of Togetherness

Ayrshire: Ronald and Patricia Sharpe Mark 50 Years of Love and Togetherness. In celebrating enduring… Read More

21 hours ago

Salvation Army UK and Ireland Territory congratulates 81 years fundraiser, grandfather Andy

The Salvation Army United Kingdom and the Ireland Territory extended their pleasure and congratulated their… Read More

2 days ago

Ayrshire: River Garden Auchincruive honours Volunteers Rosie & Anne-Marie for completing Edinburgh Kiltwalk

Ayrshire-based Non-profit Organisation River Garden Auchincruive extended their pleasure to their volunteers, Rosie and Anne-Marie,… Read More

2 days ago