Train Of Thought

Tunnel To Nowhere
Tunnel To Nowhere

Sometimes you wonder about things, don’t you? As you can see, today we have a picture of a tunnel through the railway embankment, or rather, perhaps we should call it a hole in the railway embankment. There doesn’t seem to be any road, attached on either side of the railway line, that would give meaning to the need to put a tunnel just there.

Now, our railway was built in the 1830s and it was built with the blood sweat and tears of the navvies who were the bleeding edge of technology at that time. In the next village there is a lane whose meandering takes it across the route of the railway. There isn’t that much on that side of the line that you can’t get to by other routes and ditto this side of the line. Still, you can imagine the outcry of the villagers living in the half a dozen houses on this side “Am I never to see my brother/sister/uncle/aunt/cousins again once that embankment is built?” So they put a tunnel through the embankment there – over what must have been little more than a wide-ish footpath.

This tunnel doesn’t have anywhere to go to on either side of the line. And notice, this is not some alleyway but the 1830s equivalent of a six lane highway. Was it really so important to be able to bring a cart fully loaded with hay or a whole herd of giraffes through here, rather than use the other one, half a mile up the road? Perhaps there was a regulation that stipulated one tunnel per half mile of embankment – whether you needed it or not.

Or do you think, at four o’clock on Friday the Gang Boss looked at his watch and said “Down tools, lads. We’ll give the brickies a chance at the overtime. See you all next week.”

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