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Ipswich train tunnel survives

Published:Sunday | February 21, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

WHILE ALL the train stations The Sunday Gleaner has visited so far are dilapidated, the Ipswich station seems to be in an especially dismal condition.

Maybe it is not only that the building is rundown, but the dilapidated nearby buildings add to the vision of ruin. One, with its roof caved in, is actually in a much worse state than the station.

The line is overgrown with weeds in many places, but there is one section of the train line at Ipswich, St Elizabeth, which is totally clear. And its natural housing is not dilapidated, as it is stone.

Direct sunlight is cut off abruptly at a single step inside the tunnel and so is overgrowth on the train line.

The Ipswich tunnel is about 850 feet long - long enough to get really dark, but not so long as to create a totally claustrophobic effect. It helps that the tunnel is straight, so even as light fades at one end, the further one goes in there is a growing window of luminescence on the other side.

A steady drip indicates that water is seeping through the tunnel's walls and, sure enough, part of the track is damp. It is cool, very cool, a steady breeze adding a slight nip to the experience.

The Ipswich tunnel is about a mile from the station, the line emerging into the open then going under a tiny bridge before bending into the clear for the final approach to the community.