Sunday, June 30, 2013

Waiting for Standedge Tunnel

Only 6 boats may pass through the tunnel on the 3 days of the week that it is open, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  This is mainly because at 3.25 miles long and no special ventilation, there is a buildup of exhaust fumes.  Boats have to travel through at 45 minutes apart.  Those traveling East to West, go in the morning and those in the opposite direction (which we are doing) go in the afternoon.

Standedge tunnel is the longest (3.25 miles), highest (altitude 643ft) and deepest (636 ft underground) tunnel on the waterways. Probably one of the narrowest and lowest inside to, as the boat has to be properly measured before we can enter and each boat also has a C&RT chaperone :)   The tunnel takes the canal under the high Pennine spine of Northern England between Marsden in the Colne Valley (East) and Diggle in Saddleworth (West).

Originally opened in 1811, 17 years after construction started, it was officially closed in 1944.  After many years of restoration the tunnel was reopened in May 2001 for narrowboat passage once more.

Currently moored at Wool Rd visitor moorings waiting to move to the tunnel entrance holding point.

So we have been biding our time until Monday.  We took a walk up to the tunnel entrance, still 9 locks away for us and it is all very beautiful.  The lock pounds though are very low, one being almost empty.

Panorama of 5 images looking from the towpath between two locks

Juvenile Grey Heron in flight


Andrew checking out the entrance to the tunnel

Not sure what sort of 'Tree Hugger' category this falls under :)
Old Dobcross Loomworks
Andrew decided that feeding the fishes last evening would help pass the time. Surprisingly he caught a few :D

and then today I took another walk, back towards the locks we came through on Friday.

Railway viaduct crossing over a bridge and the small black section under the bridge is the entrance to a lock.

from the other side
and then the other nature pics

Grass seed head


Underside of slug

Grey Wagtail

Bee on a Daisy

Yellow Flag Iris

Lady's Mantle


blue aquilegia (columbine)

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