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Holme Tunnel: Repairing a railway tunnel through a large and active landslip in the Pennines, Sheffield

Event organised by ICE

10 November 2015
18:30 - 20:00 GMT
University of Sheffield
Sir Frederick Mappin Building
Mappin Street
, S1 3JD
United Kingdom

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This talk looks at the repair of a railway tunnel through a large and active landslip in the Pennines. Peter Harris (Donaldson Associates) will describe the design development and Dave Thomas (AMCO) will look at the actual construction works.

Refreshments from 18.00.


Built in 1849, Holme Tunnel is a 243m long twin track tunnel through a projecting spur of ground in the Cliviger Valley near Todmorden. This spur is a "klippe" feature, part of a historic landslide, and during the 1980's the tunnel began to distort, with one side wall being pushed inwards and the crown moving upwards.

In 1986 this distortion was so severe that British Rail installed 92 steel arches at 550mm centres and 23 invert struts. In 1992 an additional 60 arches and 15 struts were added as the distorted length increased. Some monitoring was installed and whilst the rate of distortion was reduced it still continued.

Donaldson Associates were commissioned to review the situation in 2005 and recommended additional monitoring, which was undertaken by others. In 2009 Donaldson Associates were again commissioned to review the monitoring and inspect the tunnel, eventually leading to the design of a major reconstruction of 85m of the tunnel developed jointly between AMCO and Donaldson Associates.


Peter Harris BEng CEng FICE MIStructE.

Peter Harris is Director of Civil Engineering at Donaldson Associates, specialising in the reconstruction of existing tunnels. Peter has been involved in remedial works to many of Network Rail's tunnels including some of the most severely damaged such as those at Conisbrough, Standedge, Bradway and Holme.

He has recently written the historical construction section of the forthcoming Network Rail Tunnel Maintenance Manual and is the tunnels convener for the ICE Panel for Historical Engineering Works (PHEW).

Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas is a Contracts Manager with AMCO Rail. He is a Mining Engineer by trade and has been employed at AMCO for 28 years. The company has a proud history of successfully delivering complex tunnel refurbishment schemes and Dave is responsible for tunnel contracts in LNE, East Midlands, LNW South and LNW North.

For more information please contact:

Derryn Potter