Bullo to Arlingham Tunnel

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 tramway tunnel in the Word.


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!and 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 project 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 to Broad Gauge.