Tunnel entrance 6th June 2018
My version of events:
OK so it is the early 1800’s and railways do not exist but horse drawn or gravity tramways are very much the fashion. You are the Bullo Pill Railway and in reality you are a transport company taking private owner wagons from the pits in the Forest of Dean to Bullo Pill Dock, The going was downhill to Lower Soudley then the Company was faced with a steep hill, so sensibility called for a tunnel through the Haie some 1083 yards long (990m.) which they completed by 1810 and at the time was the longest railway tunnel in the World.
The best trade was to the mills of the Stroud valley by way of the Stroudwater canal at Framilode but this was an irregular solution as one needed 19ft (5.8m) of tide at Sharpness to flow an inch at Framilode Lock so a 5ft draft craft could only use the entrance to the canal when there were tides over 25ft which was around 190 days a year so it was really a half time port.
In 1810 you have the skills to complete another tunnel which would provide a through tramway route to Arlingham and give your wagons access to Stroud every day of the year.
Mine on chaps! By November 1812 the heading had reached 226 yards in and virtually half way but a spring was breached and the ingress of water was more than any pumps of the period could overcome.
Sadly the Company abandoned the scheme and I have yet to find any record of any attempt to revisit the project. By 1825 the route from Bullo to Cinderford was taken over by the Forest of Dean Railway and in 1844 the South Wales Railway converted the line to Whimsey in Broad Gauge.
The ways to Arlingham
Pete Ellis aligning the tunnel. 6th June 2018
Arlingham Tunnel 1810
Location: 51.47'44.027" N 2.27'11.448" W
It is a well known fact that in 1810 work commenced on the construction of a tramway tunnel from Bullo to Arlingham and it was abandoned in 1813 when the workings were flooded. Disappointingly all of the internet sites are almost verbatim of one another. The purpose of the original venture was to provide a regular supply of coal from the forest pits to the mills along the Stroud valley not being reliant upon the vagrancies of the tidal Severn.
This page is to attempt to enlarge on the little information already published.