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Friday, 12 March 2010

Work Starts

Following the highly successful start of work celebration the previous day, on Tuesday 9 March 2010 the Hope and Clay contractors started work on excavating the Devonshire Tunnel. Unfortunately it stopped shortly afterwards due to the Council Parks Dept not having issued a license to work on Council land. It is hoped to re-start work on Monday 15 March 2010 or soon thereafter.


Anonymous said...

People are saying that this is the secret route of the new 250mph railway network. I said this was nonsense, but conspiracy theories do have a habit of gaining ground. Is this the REAL reason why work was stopped?

franktompson said...

Hey, a conspiracy theory about the Two Tunnels Project, I think that's a first!

Forunately there's no truth in it. If there was any suggestion of a major new rail link on the route the project would never have got as far as this - and we would have got to hear about it!

gashead1883irene said...

I'd be happy with a 30mph railway!!

raven said...

What were the planning conditions that the council stopped the works for?

Anonymous said...

What a good photo, and clever to put a watermark over the spade's blade!

raven said...

It's not a watermark, it is engraved!

Anonymous said...

so are they planning to put track down to chilcompton? and go through the tunnels?

stanley mayer said...

Frank I would like to say well done
to you and your team .
Rozi and
I will be looking forward to walking through the Dvonshire tunnel when done.

Anonymous said...

Shared use

Does this allow for a man and his dog ?

Since 1964 to 2010 I have regularly walked the line with my dogs without challenge and accordingly believe I now have a prescriptive right of way

I have also walked both tunnels several times again with dogs ( prior to the steel exclusion doors installation )

If I can continue to walk with my dog unchallenged I shall support the project

However I am very much perturbed by a dog exclusion sign put up a couple of years ago at Midford viaduct

Anominously contributed for debate !

franktompson said...

Dog walkers will be very welcome on the path. We each have a duty of care to each other, and in the same way that cyclists and pedestrians must be under control, so must dog owners be in control of their pooches.

The path at Midford is a permissive path and it is the local landowner that has made the 'no dogs' ruling. The will not apply to the Two Tunnels route, where everone, so long as they are not on motorised transport, will be welcome.

Anonymous said...

1964 to 2010 ... impressive! You don't happen to have any photos perhaps?

Mark A said...

Dogs? Yes please. The sort of lead that's extensible is sometimes not a good idea on a shared use path though. I'm not sure they're brilliant for dog walking either, some can get the idea that if they pull against the leash, they'll be able to go on a foray.

As for dogs in general, we've a page on the iconic event: 'Picnic at Tunnel Gulch' - see the link - I think it was our first large scale Combe Down Tunnel open day.

Note the third photo down the page, the owners of the spaniel had turned up and unexpectedly encountered the tail end of the open day.

We were required to work booked passages through the tunnel - so we booked them into just about the last trip of the day, unfortunately recolouring their spaniel in the process.

I was surprised at the result. A brown dog had become a grey dog from the waist down, probably through acting in a spaniel like fashion in the darkness. While not unattractive, it was probably not welcome and I hope they didn't have white carpets at home.

What we're expecting is that the tunnel floors will be somewhat more clean on which to walk, I clearly recall that he was an 'Ordinary coloured' spaniel when he went in, stoic though they be, the effect on a west highland terrier doesn't bear thinking about.

Incidentally, can you remember something about Devonshire Tunnel? Was there a 'Loom' of light from both portals when you were at the centre of the tunnel? I seem to recall that there was, but my memory from 1970ish isn't what it might be ...


raven said...

Any news on work re-starting??

Anonymous said...

Walking the dog along the line since 1964.
Two years before the line closed. Not only was our friend trespassing on the railway, he's lucky to be alive to tell the tale, especially if he really was walking doggie through a narrow single bore tunnel.
The first Two Tunnels Porkie?

Mark A said...

Well he didn't say he'd been through the *tunnels* before the line closed.

At the time the line was open, the culture around railway trespass was rather more relaxed. (though, like now, people occasionally paid the price)

And then there were walking permits - does anyone recall the basis on which the railways issued those?

Anonymous said...

"The sort of lead that's extensible is sometimes not a good idea on a shared use path though". Agreed.

In fact, he Highway Code states that "Keep [your dog] on a short lead when walking on the pavement, road or path shared with cyclists or horse riders"

Anonymous said...

Hi Frank. any news yet, have they done any it worth coming down to do some photo's.

franktompson said...

Hi Stanely,

See latest blog entry.

I would leave it at least a week to be sure of having something big and deep to photograph.