Cruising the Huddersfield Narrow Canal

page 4 - Standedge Tunnel

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The three photographs below are the Diggle end of Standedge Tunnel, above the Diggle flight of five locks. Although the entrances are traditional and look insignificant, many parts of the three and a quarter mile long tunnel had to be hewn and dynamited from the solid rock. We have just travelled the Huddersfield Narrow Canal from Portland Basin (Ashton) to the Diggle locks. Our Wilderness Beaver boat is too high for the tunnel and is made of fibreglass. British Waterways commented that they would love to see what was left of it if we decided to have it towed through!

The train tunnel runs parallel to Standedge canal tunnel Standedge Tunnel - Gates are only unlocked to allow the passage of boats. Standedge Tunnel entrance - Diggle

Boats are towed through the tunnel in convoy using an electric tug. Health and Safety regulations prohibit the use of petrol or diesel powered vessels. Boats are kept separated by the use of large, rubber bow fenders. The Marsden end of the tunnel, pictures below, attracts many visitors and houses the Standedge Visitors' Centre.

View from Standedge Tunnel (Stanedge Tunnel) at the Marsden end. The Standedge Visitor Centre is in the background. The former cottages on the right are now the Waters Edge licensed restaurant. The electric tug boat is linked to a traditional passenger carrying steel narrow boat. Electric tug boat control panel.

Boat crew are not allowed to stay in their boats during passage through the tunnel. British Waterways staff are employed to fend off boats from the tunnel sides throughout the passage. Although they wear miners type helmets and thick gloves it must be a dirty and difficult task in view of the length of the tunnel and its rocky outcrops.

The rubber 'bow separator' is in the right foreground.  The trains also pass through a tunnel at this point. Standedge Visitor Centre Standedge Visitor Centre is at the Marsden end of Standedge Tunnel.

The Standedge Visitor Centre and its "Standedge Visitor Experience" is open to visitors during the summer months. Admission price includes a short boat trip into Standedge Tunnel. The museum highlights history of the area and the canal. The car park, (apart from those with a disabled badge,) is at Marsden Railway Station, some distance from Tunnel End. Standedge Tunnel - history and data

Cruising the Huddersfield Narrow Canal
[ Marple - Ashton page 1 ] [ Stalybridge page 2 ] [ Stalybridge to Diggle page 3 ]
[ Marsden to Slaithwaite page 5 ] [ Slaithwaite to Huddersfield page 6 ]