Railway Tunnel

Running underneath the eastern end of Linslade woods are the three bores of the Linslade railway tunnels. The north portal is particularly fine, being the earliest example of a castellated railway portal (1838). It is listed Grade II for its architectural importance as follows:

"Red brick castellated retaining wall with 3 horseshoe arches in moulded surrounds, central arch taller, 3 semi-octagonal embattled turrets. An interesting example of early railway architecture".

The central (double) bore is the original, constructed for the London and Birmingham Railway in 1837. The eastern bore was opened in 1859 when Leighton Buzzard railway station was moved 200m south from Soulbury Road to its current location; by this time the branch line to Dunstable had been opened. The western bore (on the right in the photograph) was the last to be added, in 1876. It is also the narrowest. If you are on a train travelling at high speed there is a noticeable thud on entering the tunnel as the train behaves like a piston in a cylinder.

With the addition of bores on either side, the central bore is unusual in having trains passing each other on the "wrong" side. Also unusual for its date is that the central bore is on a curve, as are the two later bores.