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The history


The Standege railway tunnel was built in the early 1890s by the Huddersfi eld & Manchester Railway Company. It follows immediately next to the famous, and newly reopened, Huddersfi eld Narrow Canal, constructed by the engineering greats Benjamin Outram and Thomas Telford in the late 1790s and early 1800s. The canal tunnel remains the UK's longest and highest, at 5km long and 197m above sea level.

The canal took 17 years to construct rather than the planned five years, cost twice the original budget and provided shareholders with no return on their investment for 30 years.

Outram resigned from the project in 1801 after a string of serious construction problems and Telford took over in 1806.

The most famous problem was that excavation, which started from either end, was misaligned. The Diggle end was started several feet higher than the Marsden end. Several collapses also occurred, and over the course of the first year only 165m was excavated.

Completion was finally achieved in 1811.

After a short period of prosperity from the mid 1830s to 1845, the Huddersfield & Manchester Railway Company purchased the canal tunnel to help with construction of the Standege railway tunnel.

The rail company bored cross passages from its new tunnel so that spoil could be removed by canal barge.

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