to Guy Gorton's website.
Recovery of the railway at Gerrards Cross,
Less than 24 hours after the collapse,
specialist equipment began to arrive on site. The
first to arrive were two excavators with exceptionally
long jibs. They began working on Saturday morning 2
The first task at around 10.30 was to create a
suitable platform for itself. The machine on the
other side of the collapsed tunnel, right in the
picture, was doing the same thing.
Photography was getting difficult on Saturday
afternoon because the best vantage points were
blocked by police tape. By 14:30, work was
beginning. These large machine were handled
in an amazingly accurate and gentle manner.
Here the northern one is very gently
scraping a small amount of material from the top
of the eastern remnants of the tunnel.
Taking just a few inches from the surface very
A small layer is being nudged from right to left, away
from the precipice. This effort seemed to be a
rehearsal for the trickier task of clearing the western
remnant for at this stage the machines stopped, leaving
spoil on this part of the tunnel and moving off to prepare
their workspace for the next task.
It is now Sunday morning at about 9 am. The spoil
over the western section has been removed.
Neighbours report that work continued until about 10
pm Saturday and started again at 8 am, Sunday.
Another machine brought in on Saturday is lifting
the spoil removed by the the long-arm ones into 8 wheelers
for disposal (not in sight at this moment). There is
an immense amount of spoil to be removed and there is no
spare space on site so it is being taken away - not
traffic the GX residents welcome particularly after the
long conveyor belts spared them this traffic when it was
on the way into the site.
By 4 pm the excavators had removed most of the soft
material from the top of the fallen tunnel segments.
It was at this point that a friend spotted me and
invited me into the garden behind the hedge at the top of
We are now looking at the site from the south
side for the first time. The clearing work stops to
allow all sorts of people in hi-viz jacket to crawl about
the remains, measuring, photographing, discussing.
Most if not all the segments on the south side seem
still to be in one piece whereas the northern ones are all
Some of the segments on the south side still seem to be
attached to each other by the stitching beam.
Looking into the maw of the eastern remnant with
broken segments from the northern side.
northern segments seem to have broken at the same
place on each. Whilst not a weakness in normal
circumstances, perhaps the lifting points gave way
under extreme stress. The next-to-last picture
in 'collapse.html' shows the lifting points in the
edges of the segments, used for lifting on and off
The other lifting points are used for positioning the
segments as above left. The other small pictire
shows one of the lifting points on one of the tunnel
portal sections, much smaller and lighter than the
tunnel segments, but on this one the concrete is chipped
away giving a good view of the device.
Finally, the experts take a close look.
can go to the 'Collapse' page here.
Constrained to 1024 width December 2014, no other