A railway tunnel in Derbyshire has officially been recorded as the oldest in the world.
The tunnel in Fritchley dates back to 1793 and will feature in The Guinness World Book of Records.
Local railway enthusiast, 66-year-old Trevor Griffin, said the news was 'one of the biggest things' in his life:
The Heritage Lottery Fund and the Derbyshire Archeological Society came together for the project, where over 100 residents and rail enthusiasts conducted work to establish the age of the tunnel.
Wessex Archeology even created a virtual model using laser technology.
A few facts about the Fritchley tunnel:
- The line closed in 1933
- It was later blocked up in the 1980's but re-opened after a year to allow archeological investigation
- The tunnel was part of the Butterley Gangroad - a horse-operated rail line
- The line used to link the Cromford Canal with limestone quarries at Crich in Derbyshire
- The tunnel was originally 25 metres long / 2.5 metres wide / 3.2 metres high
Derbyshire Archeological Society member, Freda Raphail, said:
Previously, it had been thought that the oldest surviving railway tunnel was also in Derbyshire, but in the north of the county at Chapel Milton.
Mr Griffin talked more about the group effort it took to establish the age of the tunnel and went on to say: