During the Detailed Examination in May this year, Peter Harris, a tunnels expert from the Institute of Civil Engineers, went underground and examined the tunnel. His report on it has been accepted, and it has been added to the list of structures of historic engineering importance. Peter appears on the video that Graeme Bickerdike made of the detailed examination, available from this website (go to media->video->detailed examination). You can read the details of why it is important by following the link below.
Link to ICE Listing of Rhondda Tunnel. You need to download the complete information which gives a history of the tunnel.
At the recent meeting of trustees, it was decided to hold the AGM in February 2019, preferably on 6th. Feb. Our constitution requires that it is held within 15 months of the previous one. The trustees feel that with a number of developments starting at present, it is better to delay it until we have a more complete picture of activities. We shall have more information nearer the time, and announce the date and venue here.
Why not come along to our Charity Concert this evening at the Parc and Dare Theatre. This the 3rd Concert the Society has put on is always a spectacular evening. Tickets available at the box office.
It is the stuff of fairy tales. After nearly four years of meeting after meeting. Late late nights. Heated debates. Miles and Miles of Travelling. Gallons of ink on paper. Blood, Sweat and many a tear. The news came as music to the ears of the Rhondda Tunnels Trustees, Committee and Technical Team. "When Mr Andrew Morgan told us what he was proposing I was struck dumb," said Steve Mackey, Chairman of the Society. 2We owe a lot to our dedicated fully paid members. They have been with us through thick and thin, there are no words I can say to thank them, they are amazing people, and I feel a deep connection with them all," said Steve. Tony Moon Project Secretary said," The time line is set for the Tunnels to be up and running within 3 years. This is beyond our wildest dream!" For the full interview from Mr Andrew Morgan go to : -
After a very busy month April/May, finally the Detailed Examination Report came back to the RTS for examination by the Technical Team.
As it is only in Draft Form at the moment , it won't be released until the document has been examined in great detail.
As it stands, the report looks good, with just a few details that will be discuss with Mr Richard Storey, the Engineer for Balfour Beatty who carried out the examination. (Inset. Photo, Jim Mackey)
The final version will available to the RTS within the next few weeks. A copy will be sent to RCT and the Welsh government for their perusal. Hopefully there will be nothing sinister in the report and we can move on to the next phase. Now is the time we need support, now is the time to join us.
WE ARE MAKING HISTORY. Why not be a part of it!
RTS. Preserving the Past for our Children's Future!
Richard Storey, Balfour Beatty's lead tunnel examiner, will return to Blaengwynfi to examine "the dark side" - the 100m of tunnel at Blaengwynfi that has been sealed since the late 1970s. D-Drill engineers succeeded in drilling a large hole in the over 2m thick concrete wall to allow access. Inside, we know that the trackbed is flooded to at least 40cm so those entering will need waders. We shall also be examining how the drainage in the tunnel works, and going back to the original drawings that were laid before parliament in the 1880s for clues.
The examination of the material used to fill the approach cuttings by Earth Science Partnership has one more task before completion. They have to drill boreholes down the track bed level at both portals. The difficulty has been the need to get the boring rig to the locations on waterlogged ground. The recent dry weather is very much helping.
Two Weeks of intense hard labour, but every second was another step towards the re-opening of the Rhondda Tunnel. The first 3 days saw us preparing the way for Balfour Beatty who was to carry out the Detailed Examination. Whilst Balfour Beatty began their Survey from the Blaencwm end, D-Drill began their work, stitch drilling the wall which had to be compromised for the Detailed Exam.
It took 7 days to drill through 2.5 metres of solid concrete. Finally, on Friday 4th May, at 5pm, the wall was broken through.
As it was very late breaking into the other side of the tunnel, it was decided to explore the 'Dark Side ' at a later date. As far as the eye could see was water, Crystal 'Gin' clear water. Blocked drain! We will find out within a few weeks.
We knew it was going to busy last week. Yet nothing, nothing could have prepared us for what the past week brought us. With military precision, we planned every move. The time had come for the detailed examination to begin. Day 1/ 2 and 3 saw intense preparation for the detailed examination on Thursday 26th April. Needless to say, things started to go wrong from day 1 when 'Speedy Hire' failed to deliver the equipment we ordered, which could have cost us dearly. However, late on day 1, we acquired the equipment we needed. Hammonds ECS came to our rescue. Thank goodness they were there. Hammonds/John/Jeff, thank you.
Day 4 saw the beginning of the Detailed Examination by Balfour Beatty. The Survey began from Blaencwm and is progressing with a spring in our step. With more and more people reading about our success, membership has gone through the roof. The Detailed Examination continues on the 30th April. Come join us, help us make history.
To the residents of Blaengwynfi: We are sorry that we have had to chew up the ground on the buried approach cutting to the tunnel. This was needed so that the material that has to be removed to re-open it can be examined for contamination. We have agreed with Hammonds that they will smooth it, but they suggest leaving it for a few weeks for the ground to dry out. It will be impossible to do with the slope so waterlogged.