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Calvin72

I recently visited the Bridgehouses end of the tunnel as i didn't even know where it was. It is visible from the opposite side of Derek Dooley Way (once you know what you are looking for anyway!) It is easily accessible from under the nearby arches. However for a Grade 2 listed structure there is no information on site or protection in place. I will try to return on a bright day and take some photos but it is quite overgrown.

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hilldweller

In the sixties and later this tunnel was used as a route for an oxygen pipeline that fed bulk supplies of oxygen to steelworks in the uper and lower Don Valleys. I followed it's path at different times all the way down the Don back to British Oxygen at Brinsworth.

I believe at around the same time it was in use as a shooting range for a while. I don't suppose a small bore bullet would be a threat to a steel pipeline.

HD

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madannie77

There is a six page article on "Fiery Jack" in Issue 200 of the Journal of the Railway & Canal History Society, Volume 35 Part 10.

A few bits of info from the article:

The original tunnel was approximately 370 yards long with a gradient (according to the MIdland Railway's records) of 1 in 25 for all but the last 70 yards which was level. This was very steep for an adhesion worked railway, especially in the 1840s.

In March 1848 the side wall of the tunnel at the Bridgehouses end collapsed and brought down the tunnel arch. Rather than replace the collapsed section the level section was opened out and the Bridgehouses portal moved and rebuilt at the end of the truncated 301 yard tunnel.

The tunnel was built with double track (with the uphill line designated as the "down" line and the downhill line being the "up") but at some point in the late 19th century operation was changed to single line working, although the other line was retained for some time, unused.

The line fell into disuse just after the second world war, one source quoting July 1947 as the final closure as a railway line.

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lysandernovo

The only "Fiery Jack" I ever came across was an old patent ointment for the relief of muscular pains which was once very popular in the North of England....latterly taken off the market by EU regulations! ....It was so hot when applied that I believe it may well have been the source of the nickname for a tunnel which ,when on the footplate of an engine tackling the 1 in 25 gradient,would have been equally as hot!🙄

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Paolo Coopio

I'vehad a trip up the the tunnel on Monday morning. I've been making some local railway history videos and explores recently and wanted to go see it. 

Not a pleasant experience to be honest. After navigating the piles of fly tipping on the path to the tunnel portal from the footpath on brunswick Road, its a case of dodging needles. Couldn't believe the amount of syringe packets on the floor. Hundreds with no exaggeration. 

Anyway in the 5 mins I was in there another fly tipper arrived to make another deposit. There are also people living just by the portal who I accidentally distributed and they starting banging stuff to try to scare me away. 

I didn't hang around. Quite upsetting for grade 2 listed structure to be in this state. 

.... anyway I'll post my video later in the week. 

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Calvin72
14 hours ago, Paolo Coopio said:

I'vehad a trip up the the tunnel on Monday morning. I've been making some local railway history videos and explores recently and wanted to go see it. 

Not a pleasant experience to be honest. After navigating the piles of fly tipping on the path to the tunnel portal from the footpath on brunswick Road, its a case of dodging needles. Couldn't believe the amount of syringe packets on the floor. Hundreds with no exaggeration. 

Anyway in the 5 mins I was in there another fly tipper arrived to make another deposit. There are also people living just by the portal who I accidentally distributed and they starting banging stuff to try to scare me away. 

I didn't hang around. Quite upsetting for grade 2 listed structure to be in this state. 

.... anyway I'll post my video later in the week. 

I've visited a few times and got to know the Council workers who clean up the site. Pre-lockdown they usually spent a day there at the end of each month accompanied by a security guard due to the drug users who use the site. I don't know if they have been clearing the site during lockdown though. The first time I checked the place out was seven or eight years ago before any sort of clean-up and it was horrendous - the guys do a good job but it's one day a month and soon returns to a state.

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Paolo Coopio
3 hours ago, Calvin72 said:

I've visited a few times and got to know the Council workers who clean up the site. Pre-lockdown they usually spent a day there at the end of each month accompanied by a security guard due to the drug users who use the site. I don't know if they have been clearing the site during lockdown though. The first time I checked the place out was seven or eight years ago before any sort of clean-up and it was horrendous - the guys do a good job but it's one day a month and soon returns to a state.

Yeah looks like they have their work cut out. I'd say there was more than a few weeks worth of rubbish piled up. Both ends of the path too.

 

Shame really.

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Paolo Coopio

As promised here is the video of my recent visit

 

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neddy

Tunnel collapse,

Fall of a Railway Tunnel Feb 27 1861
A tunnel on the Midland Railway, at Sheffield, suddenly fell in on Monday morning killing six men who were working at a new building close to it, and seriously injuring a seventh man.
The tunnel, which formed a communication between the Midland Company's station and the line of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Company, was 200 or 300 yards in length, and passed under the street called Spital Hill, and through the hill of the same name.
The top of the arch reaches within a few feet of the surface of the street; the hill which is steep, rising rapidly above it on the north side, and sloping rapidly below it on the south side.
Some weeks ago Messrs. Hunt & Co., carriers commenced the erection of extensive stabling, warehouse room, & c., on ground adjoining Spital Hill Road, and immediately on the south or lower side of the tunnel.
The declivity is so rapid that, to keep the ground floor of their stables on a level with the more southerly side of the yard, they were obliged to excavate to about the depth of the foundation of the tunnel.
This is said to have been done, under the supposition that the side of the tunnel was a few yards off, but it turned out it was close to the foundations of the new buildings.
A strong stone wall was built up against the side of the tunnel or embankment, as it was supposed to be, to sustain any pressure from "swagging" of the strata above, and the erection of the stables was proceeded with for some time without and indication of danger.
During last week, however, the stone and adjoining brick wall gave way so much that it was found necessary to "shore" them up, which was done by means of strong planks and beams.
The front wall of the stabling was carried to the top of the second storey, and the masons and bricklayers were employed on the back wall close to the tunnel, that wall having been carried only one storey high, and being about on a level with the top of the tunnel.
About half past nine o'clock they felt the wall suddenly give way beneath them, and rushed upon the top of the tunnel.
The top of the tunnel instantly fell in, precipitating them to the bottom, the brick and earth work on the north side, and the brick and stone work on the south side of the tunnel falling in upon and burying them apparently to a considerable depth.
A number of men promptly set to work to dig up the bodies, and in a short time rescued two of them, James Lambert, who had sustained a fracture of the leg and other severe bruises, and James Maloy, who was dreadfully crushed and dead.
Lambert was at once removed to the Infirmary, where he lies in a precarious state, and the body of Maloy to an adjacent public house.
Before any other bodies had been removed Mr. Bobby, the Midland Company's superintendent at Sheffield arrived, and prevented the continuance of the search, on the ground that the remaining men must be dead, and that it was dangerous to remain in the hollow.
This excited much dissatisfaction at the time, and some hours afterwards the search was renewed for the five men whose bodies were still under the debris.
The tunnel is by no means a strongly built one, but the immediate cause of the accident is no doubt the withdrawal of support from the south side by the excavations for Messrs. Hunts new buildings.
The length of tunnel which has fallen in is from 30 to 40 yards, but it has not extended to the Spital Hill Road, which consequently remains unobstructed,
Within a few yards of the end of the breakage next the road, however, a portion of a house rests upon the tunnel, and it was fully expected that the house and some further portion of the tunnel would shortly give way.
The dead and injured men had only commenced work at the new buildings on Monday morning, the old workmen having ceased work in consequence of some dispute with their employer, Mr. Reynolds.
The names of four of the five men still under the ruins are Samuel Lawton, William and Henry Booth, and  ? Harding.
The name of the fifth could not be ascertained.
 

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Calvin72
7 hours ago, Paolo Coopio said:

As promised here is the video of my recent visit

 

And you got to see my comment twice then...  :)   Good luck with the channel

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Paolo Coopio
12 hours ago, neddy said:

Tunnel collapse,

Fall of a Railway Tunnel Feb 27 1861
A tunnel on the Midland Railway, at Sheffield, suddenly fell in on Monday morning killing six men who were working at a new building close to it, and seriously injuring a seventh man.
The tunnel, which formed a communication between the Midland Company's station and the line of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Company, was 200 or 300 yards in length, and passed under the street called Spital Hill, and through the hill of the same name.
The top of the arch reaches within a few feet of the surface of the street; the hill which is steep, rising rapidly above it on the north side, and sloping rapidly below it on the south side.
Some weeks ago Messrs. Hunt & Co., carriers commenced the erection of extensive stabling, warehouse room, & c., on ground adjoining Spital Hill Road, and immediately on the south or lower side of the tunnel.
The declivity is so rapid that, to keep the ground floor of their stables on a level with the more southerly side of the yard, they were obliged to excavate to about the depth of the foundation of the tunnel.
This is said to have been done, under the supposition that the side of the tunnel was a few yards off, but it turned out it was close to the foundations of the new buildings.
A strong stone wall was built up against the side of the tunnel or embankment, as it was supposed to be, to sustain any pressure from "swagging" of the strata above, and the erection of the stables was proceeded with for some time without and indication of danger.
During last week, however, the stone and adjoining brick wall gave way so much that it was found necessary to "shore" them up, which was done by means of strong planks and beams.
The front wall of the stabling was carried to the top of the second storey, and the masons and bricklayers were employed on the back wall close to the tunnel, that wall having been carried only one storey high, and being about on a level with the top of the tunnel.
About half past nine o'clock they felt the wall suddenly give way beneath them, and rushed upon the top of the tunnel.
The top of the tunnel instantly fell in, precipitating them to the bottom, the brick and earth work on the north side, and the brick and stone work on the south side of the tunnel falling in upon and burying them apparently to a considerable depth.
A number of men promptly set to work to dig up the bodies, and in a short time rescued two of them, James Lambert, who had sustained a fracture of the leg and other severe bruises, and James Maloy, who was dreadfully crushed and dead.
Lambert was at once removed to the Infirmary, where he lies in a precarious state, and the body of Maloy to an adjacent public house.
Before any other bodies had been removed Mr. Bobby, the Midland Company's superintendent at Sheffield arrived, and prevented the continuance of the search, on the ground that the remaining men must be dead, and that it was dangerous to remain in the hollow.
This excited much dissatisfaction at the time, and some hours afterwards the search was renewed for the five men whose bodies were still under the debris.
The tunnel is by no means a strongly built one, but the immediate cause of the accident is no doubt the withdrawal of support from the south side by the excavations for Messrs. Hunts new buildings.
The length of tunnel which has fallen in is from 30 to 40 yards, but it has not extended to the Spital Hill Road, which consequently remains unobstructed,
Within a few yards of the end of the breakage next the road, however, a portion of a house rests upon the tunnel, and it was fully expected that the house and some further portion of the tunnel would shortly give way.
The dead and injured men had only commenced work at the new buildings on Monday morning, the old workmen having ceased work in consequence of some dispute with their employer, Mr. Reynolds.
The names of four of the five men still under the ruins are Samuel Lawton, William and Henry Booth, and  ? Harding.
The name of the fifth could not be ascertained.
 

Tragic story. Thanks for sharing. 

That collapse did lead to changes in the way this type of tunnel was built and as a result led to a much safer use of the same method on London's Metropolitan line. 

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Paolo Coopio
10 hours ago, Calvin72 said:

And you got to see my comment twice then...  :)   Good luck with the channel

Thank you very much. I really do hope they start to get on top of the mess again soon. It must feel like painting the fourth bridge to the workers.

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