Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Grinkle Tunnel and Station (c.NZ740177)

The railway connection between Middlesbrough and Whitby along the Cleveland coast has long since been abandoned. It is, perhaps, a project which should have never left the drawing board if the truth be known. Victorian verve and ambition took the thin black line winding around natural obstacles and, at times, perilously close to the sea – but it can now only be traced as far south as the Boulby Potash Mines. The remainder to the east and south was dismantled around 1960 and given over to a coastal footpath.

The easternmost stretch of the surviving line, from Skinningrove to Boulby, was closed, too, at this time, but was revived in the mid 1970s when Boulby Potash mine opened. It is used solely for freight, the passenger stations remaining closed (many having been demolished). One such stopping-off point was Grinkle Station, to the south-west of present-day Easington where the tracks emerge from Grinkle Tunnel. Track and tunnel alike first saw light of day in the early 1880s after almost two decades of confused planning and awkward construction. Originally known as Easington Station and Tunnel, they were renamed ‘Grinkle’ in 1904.

The station was the first on the line to be closed in 1939, the line was lifted in the early 1960s … then relaid a decade later in 1974 to enable minerals to be transported from Boulby Mine to Skinningrove and onwards. It is still in use today.

More info and pics available here.

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