Progress on the Rede Valley has been slow. The 2012 project to complete the viaduct diorama is well behind schedule and work commitments have continued to keep me in Nottinghamshire during the week and well away from a railway room in Northumberland. None the less, the basic shape of the scenery is coming together.
One of the next tasks is to add the tunnel entrance. Though on the model this will be where the ficticious Rede Valley line crosses the Anglo Scottish border under Carter Fell it will replicate a real tunnel on the nearest main line. The idea is to create a facsimile of the southern entrance to Whitrope Tunnel to give the section a real Waverley feel.
Whitrope took the Waverley line under the bleak Sandy Edge, which was in the middle of remote wilderness south of Hawick, and was one of the longest tunnels in Scotland. The tunnel under Carter Fell had it ever been built would have been even longer and just as bleak. The failed 1836 scheme surveyed by Joshua Richardson and subsequently condemned by George Stephenson in favour of the coastal route to Edinburgh proposed a tunnel over 8 miles long.
Resarch has revealed some great information about Whitrope.The forgotten relics website has a huge amount of information about tunnels from all over the UK and there are some particularly interesting photographs of both portals and the interior of Whitrope.