The Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel in North Wales has joined the list of Network Rail structures to be illuminated with blue light in honour and gratitude to all NHS staff and other workers who are battling the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Railway staff are also classified as critical workers, since they ensure passengers who need to travel are able to do so and enable vital freight to move across the country.
Built between 1873 and 1879, when the London and North Western Railway engineered a route to Blaenau Ffestiniog to ‘tap’ the slate, the Ffestiniog tunnel is four kilometres (two and half miles) long. The southern portal, the one which was illuminated, is a semi-circular arch, built of rough-dressed stone, under a pediment which houses a plaque with the name of the engineer, W Smith, and the date 1879.
Network Rail route director for Wales and Borders Bill Kelly said: “What we have seen from our NHS workforce, and indeed from all critical workers over the last couple of months, is literally awesome. We are all very proud of what they are doing for the entire country.
“The lighting up of this iconic tunnel is a simple yet effective way we can join in with the entire nation in saying ‘thank you’ to all those critical workers.”
The illumination of the tunnel was made possible by Dyer & Butler, which is working with Network Rail in the area.