Railway Structures
Ryde Tunnel

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.
Ryde Tunnel The north portal of Ryde Tunnel, photographed on 11th May 2008.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

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.

The south portal of Ryde Tunnel.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Ryde Tunnel

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This page was created 21 January 2010

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