Historic Kilsby railway feature preserved in £3.5m refurbishment

Kilsby Tunnel. Photo: GBickerdike.
Kilsby Tunnel. Photo: GBickerdike.

A grade two listed rail landmark near Rugby has been preserved thanks to a £3.5 million refurbishment project which took nine months.

Network Rail refurbished the Victorian Great Northern Shaft, which was originally built to provide light and ventilation inside the 1.5 mile long Kilsby Tunnel, as part of a wider railway upgrade plan.

The shaft. Photo: GBickerdike.

The shaft. Photo: GBickerdike.

Hasan Shah, scheme project manager at Network Rail said: “This stretch of the West Coast main line is vitally important to local, regional and national rail travel.

“We’ve carefully planned the repairs to allow trains to run while we completed this essential work.Not impacting passengers and freight was vital and the huge, complex scaffolding structure has allowed us to do this with around 400 trains a day travelling up to 40 metres below us.

“The result will be a Victorian local landmark preserved for decades to come.”

The work included soot removal, brickwork repointing and repairs.

Network Rail said work will make the rail network safer and more reliable for millions of passengers.

The tunnel was built in the 1830s using an estimated 30 million bricks.

Around one million bricks were used to build the Great Northern Shaft, which weighs over 4000 tonnes.

Network Rail said work will make the rail network safer and more reliable for millions of passengers.