Film: 3161

Railways | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Severn Tunnel, the history of its construction, tunneling under the River Severn between England and Wales, trains under the river, the estuary, tunnel building 1950's

GWR Great Western Railway. Railway train with 13 carriages crossing a low viaduct. Inside a carriage, a shot showing passenger, seated, looking out of window as train crosses another railway line. Rear end of small train entering Severn Tunnel. The inside of the tunnel wh. The estuary at a point where it is two and a quarter miles wide. We are told the Severn Tunnel is the largest underwater tunnel in the world. Inside tunnel, train with nine carriages passes by. Panorama of estuary. Bridge at Gloucester. Map of old railway layout in the Bristol and Cardiff region. Station at New Passage. The estuary at this point, looking across to Port Skewett to where the ferry ran in victorian times. Course of old track leading up from the Portskewett pier, now grassed over. Portskewett Railway station. Victorian photograph of the same. Engraving of pier at Portskewett with steam train on it. Close up of book. A page turn to the title page 'The Severn Tunnel' by Thomas Andrew Walker. More page turns to show portraits of Walker, Charles richardson, and sir John Hawkshaw.
Film of remains of a Roman camp on the coast half a mile from Blackrock Pier. More than half the camp has been washed away. Engraving of ruins of a church. Film of the same, called Sudbrook Channel. Row of cottages in the vicinity very near the start of the tunnel entrance.
Diagram to show the start of construction. Shot of the second shaft on the welsh side - known as the Iron Pit because of the iron rings lining it. The engine house at the top of the Iron Pit with the date of 1877 on it. Inside of engine house. The Ball engines? Inside in operation. A beam engine with the date of 1876 on it. The two engines could lift 462 gallons per stroke or 300,000 gallons per day. Engraving of flooding in the pit during construction. Underground culvert showing water flowing. This culvert takes 15 million gallons of water a day.
Photo of Thomas andrew Walker. The engines not working and standing water at top of the shafts. Plans of beam engine. Photo of another shaft, a horse drawn cart outside brickworks. Film of the offices alker built. Inside the pump house and the large Cornish engine in operation. With the ball engines the water level was lowered. Still photo of Alexander Lambert, a famous diver in a group shot at a naval exhibition. Diagram of divers working in shaft. Engraving of a diver with aqualung and no need for tubes. Lambert used independent diving equipment without an air hose for the first time in a practical context. Film of pumps working. Level indicator reading just below 30 feet. Photo of terraced housing for workmen - lots of people outside. Film of these houses. Joseph Talbot, the principal foreman's house. Photographs of tradesmen in the street. The Mission Hall. The interior of the day school. The cottage hospital. Post ofice called Sudbrook. The village stretched out, either side of the coal siding. Engraving from Victorian times. Engraving of another flooding. Engraving of flooded workings. Engraving of rescuing workmen. Photo of workmen on surface. Man closing a sluice underground. Wheels on pumps turned. New flooding. Plans for Sudbrook permanent pumping station and six engines. Starting up beam engines. Sign on wall dated 1887. Six Cornish beam engines in one pump house is unique in the world. Engines at work. Good shots of the beam engines working. Each beam is 30 feet long and weighs 20 tons. Man stoking boilers with coal. Still of wagons at the entrance to the tunnel. A large fan, 40 feet across had been used to keep the tunnel free from smoke. We see film of its replacement, at 27 feet, still huge. It is driven by a horizontal engine and we see it at work. The Number One Pumphouse, exteriors and interiors. At the time the film was shot, the engines were about to be electrified, so that steam power would cease. The great spring running in its culvert. Village of Sudbrook, the pulp mill. Pumping Station and Pulp mill adjacent to one another. Passenger train in tunnel. Cornish engines at rest.

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