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The three photographs below are the Diggle end of Standedge Tunnel, above the Diggle flight of five locks. Although the entrances are traditional and look insignificant, many parts of the three and a quarter mile long tunnel had to be hewn and dynamited from the solid rock. We have just travelled the Huddersfield Narrow Canal from Portland Basin (Ashton) to the Diggle locks. Our Wilderness Beaver boat is too high for the tunnel and is made of fibreglass. British Waterways commented that they would love to see what was left of it if we decided to have it towed through!
Boats are towed through the tunnel in convoy using an electric tug. Health and Safety regulations prohibit the use of petrol or diesel powered vessels. Boats are kept separated by the use of large, rubber bow fenders. The Marsden end of the tunnel, pictures below, attracts many visitors and houses the Standedge Visitors' Centre.
Boat crew are not allowed to stay in their boats during passage through the tunnel. British Waterways staff are employed to fend off boats from the tunnel sides throughout the passage. Although they wear miners type helmets and thick gloves it must be a dirty and difficult task in view of the length of the tunnel and its rocky outcrops.
The Standedge Visitor Centre and its "Standedge Visitor Experience" is open to visitors during the summer months. Admission price includes a short boat trip into Standedge Tunnel. The museum highlights history of the area and the canal. The car park, (apart from those with a disabled badge,) is at Marsden Railway Station, some distance from Tunnel End. Standedge Tunnel - history and data