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British Industrial History

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Woodhead Tunnels: Second

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Note: This is a sub-section of Woodhead Tunnels

1847 Tunneling commenced. Because it was close to the Woodhead 1 Tunnel it was far less hazardous and less costly. The geology was known and the existing vertical shafts could be used again. The builders of the first tunnel had also built twenty-five arches at intervals in readiness to connect the tunnels. Pauling and Co were contractors.

1849 June. Cholera outbreak results in 28 deaths. 'The terrible disorder has broken out with great severity among the workmen employed in the Woodhead tunnel, near Manchester, on the Sheffield line of railway. Many of the men had been indulging in heavy drinking and dissipation for several days, and, their return to work, probably from want proper nourishment, and from drinking the water that flows through the soil and rock, they were seized with dysentery, which soon assumed the severe form of cholera, and before medical assistance could be procured several deaths occurred. The best professional aid that could be had in Manchester was procured on Monday, but up to Tuesday nine of the cases proved fatal, and further deaths were expected. The appearance of the disease had caused panic among the rest of the workmen, most of whom, several hundreds in number, had fled from the neighbourhood from fear of being involved in the calamity.'[1]

1849 September. The resident engineer for the line James Potter reports on the tunnel's progress. 1,322 yards to be excavated and 2,000 yards to be walled and arched.[2]

1851 August. The plant of Pauling and Co used to build the tunnel offered for sale (detailed list).[3]

1852 The second bore was completed by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 15 June 1849
  2. Sheffield Independent - Saturday 01 September 1849
  3. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 23 August 1851