Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Re-Open . Rail Route ; VIEWPOINTS

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Re-Open . Rail Route ; VIEWPOINTS

Article excerpt

NEXT Tuesday sees the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Woodhead Railway Tunnel by the Conservative Transport Minister Alan Lennox Boyd.

He described the electrification of the line and the new tunnel as "an event of immense importance in the history of Britain's railways".

Within 27 years the whole system had been ruined by mismanagement.

Despite being scheduled for "development" in the second Beeching Report, the fast, efficient mainline electrified service to Sheffield was withdrawn in 1970, and the line closed completely in 1981, leaving the essential Glossop-Manchester service as a branch line.

Building the scheme cost Pounds 12.5m in 1954 values, of which Pounds 4.5m was the cost of the modern concrete-lined tunnel.

In today's values that would be Pounds 305m, of which the tunnel represented Pounds 109m.

All of this investment has been sold at a knock-down price for scrap, the route has been virtually given away to become the Longdendale Trail while the 1954 tunnel has become a cable-duct for National Grid. …

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