Errwood Plughole & Woodhead Tunnel

So yeah, this is an overspill for the Errwood reservoir. More commonly known as a plughole similar to the one in your bath, when the water level at the top reaches a certain height it floods over the walls and down into the Fernilee reservoir.
After picking the worst night in about two weeks to abseil a plughole we finally got everything set.  A 60m bunched rope sent straight down the hole, a ropeladder at the outfall as well as a safety line also at the outfall.
The wind and rain had certainly picked up it’s pace and as Morse disappeared into the darkness we looked left to find the coppers sat watching us with their urber bright lantern. We needed to get all of seven of us down but it wasn’t looking good at that point. After a short pause and everyone thinking it was game over, they drove off.

Three from Morse


After clipping in I was just over the railings as Nick said to me that they were driving back, I didnt hear much after that except that they had stopped and had asked for the kit to be removed & names to be taken.

We headed under, popped out of the bottom and gathered all of our gear expecting a police presence at the top. Luckily they had gone and had been fine with the other guys, next time we’ll get all 7 of us down.

A cheeky big mac and a strawberry milkshake got us back on the road but Bigjobs, Nick, Sho and Stacey had said their farewells. After racking our brains and the internet for something to do that wasn’t outside, myself, Morse and Millhouse ended up here. Woodhead Tunnel.

Back in the 1960s a couple of blokes figured instead of building pylons and stretching the cables out over the moors which was hard enough in itself, they would bring them through the empty Victorian rail tunnels.

I don’t really like reading the facts behind this one as 400,000 volts run through each of those black hefty cables, if I’m not wrong some of them are also oil cooled.


Got home and near enough hung myself up to dry, that was some hard rain!

5 thoughts on “Errwood Plughole & Woodhead Tunnel

  1. great pics 😉 how did you gain acess to the newest woodhead tunnel? i havent been inside since the line closed and were lift the tracks ,theyve made it like new relining it and concrete the floors


  2. Did you get to the middle of woodhead tunnel?

    There is a mess room for rail workers doing maintainence I wondered what became of it


  3. I worked at the Dunford Bridge end aprox 1990 and used to drive the small Diesel loco into the tunnel carrying materials for the cable joiners Parelli constuction,
    The mess room was still there at that time


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s