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Heritage panel just the ticket for rail nostalgia
Friday 5th May 2017 @ 08:27 by Adam Higgins
Glossop Chronicle News

Walkers and cyclists on the Longdendale Trail will get a history lesson at the end of their journey.

A new interpretation panel has gone up near the entrance to the former Woodhead Tunnel telling the story of the one time rail track.

It’s close to the platform of the long gone station seven miles from Hadfield on the freight and passenger line under the Pennines.

The panel follows work by the National Grid to install replacement cables in tunnel three, which was built in the 1950s.

As part of the work, the entrances to two mid-19th century tunnels were sealed and the former station area improved.

Ken Smith, cultural heritage manager at the Peak District National Park said: “The Woodhead Route was a busy railway for nearly 150 years. It was a very important rail link between Sheffield and Manchester.

“The earlier tunnels were used much more heavily than was originally expected, with up to 250 steam trains travelling each way, every day.”

He added: “The work undertaken by the National Grid gave us the opportunity to refresh our interpretation panel, part of the Trans Pennine Trail.

“If folk use their imagination they can really relate to how it would once have been.”

When completed in 1845, the first Woodhead tunnel was one of the world’s longest railway tunnels at three miles and 13 yards.

In 1954, an electrified double-track tunnel replaced the twin tunnels.

Passenger services closed in 1970 and freight services in 1981.

Now it’s part of one of the region’s most popular walking and cycling routes.