|The London & South Western Railway and the London, Brighton
& South Coast Railway jointly promoted a line from Ryde Pierhead to Ryde St John's
Road, which opened in 1880. This passed through Ryde Tunnel, which was built to
very restricted clearance. It is the main reason why rolling stock to standard
loading gauge could not be used on the Isle of Wight. Introduction of tube
trains on the island in 1967 saw the track raised through the tunnels, in order
to reduce the risk of flooding, further restricting the headroom.
The very shallow depth allowed cut and cover construction. The tunnel is unusual in having twin, segmental arch portals, and it will be noted that there are only three rings of bricks. The north portal includes a stone bearing the date 1881, a year after the line opened.
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This page was created 21 January 2010