Bright future for classic main line tunnel as ventilation shaft is restored

A Grade 2-listed Victorian landmark on the West Coast Main Line near Rugby is being preserved for decades to come by Network Rail.

Repair and maintenance work has been carried out inside the Great Northern Shaft which was built to provide light and ventilation inside the 1½-mile-long Kilsby Tunnel in Northamptonshire.

The top of Kilsby Tunnel’s Grade 2 listed Great Northern Shaft seen after the repair project began. G BICKERDIKE/NETWORK RAIL

A huge scaffolding structure has been installed around the inside of the shaft, directly above the railway, so the work can be carried out while nearly 400 trains continue to travel daily at 110mph on line below.

A protection deck, around 26ft above the track, has allowed workmen to complete brickwork repairs while working above 25,000v overhead lines on one of Europe’s busiest mixed use stretches of railway.

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