Sunday, 2 February 2014

Tunnel vision

As some of you may have noticed, I am a tunnel junkie. Whether canal or railway,Victorian or modern; hand-dug or submersed tube, I love them all.

It was therefore with interest that I found Graeme Bickerdike's video on the excellent 'Forgotten Relics' website. The video explains the way some of the tunnels were built in Victorian times, and is well worth a watch if you're into such things. The production standards are surprisingly high for such an esoteric video, and Graeme does a splendid job as presenter.

If you want to know more, then there are a couple of books available on-line that also detail Victorian tunnelling techniques:

Railway Tunnelling in Heavy Ground (1879)
Practical Tunnelling (1896), which also had some chapters by the famous D.K. Clarke.

They make you realise how amazing the modern Tunnel Boring Machines are, and the way we can bore so many miles of tunnels deep under our capital city without any deaths of major injuries.

The man and boys who built our canal and railway network - now so dismissively called Navvies - really were a breed apart.

I hope you haven't found this a boring post ...

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