SURVEY OF THE GREAT KILSBURY TUNNEL
8 pp. folio, folds, last leaf dust stained and wear at fold but text legible,
When the Kilsbury Tunnel opened in 1838 it was at that time the longest underground tunnel in the world at 2423 yards long. From the outset there were problems with water. "Between the South entrance and the first large ventilating shaft, the interior of the Brickwork is masked by numerous spots where the bricks are flushed in the same way as described in my remarks upon the Leighton Tunnel. The same causes have coincidently operated in both cases, but as the quantity of water (chiefly derived from Quicksand) in this portion of the Kilsbury Tunnel is very considerable ... The supply of water to this portion of the tunnel may be regarded as very similar in character to that at Leighton, flowing as it does, from land lying upon an impervious bed of shale or clay." The Kilsby Tunnel was designed and engineered by Robert Stephenson for the London & Birmingham Railway (L&BR). It was constructed by contractors Joseph Nowell & Sons and later by the L&BR. It took much longer to construct and exceeded its estimated cost, because of roof collapse and consequential flooding.
Stock ref: 14305