Network Rail lit up the Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel last night (7 May) at 20:00hrs in honour and gratitude to all NHS staff and other workers who are battling the coronavirus crisis.

The lighting of the tunnel was also in recognition of railway colleagues, who themselves are classed as critical workers, as they have ensured passengers who need to travel are able to do so, whilst enabling vital freight is moved across the country.

The Ffestiniog tunnel was built between 1873 and 1879 when the London and North Western Railway engineered a route to Blaenau Ffestiniog to ‘tap’ the slate. The tunnel is four kilometres (two and half miles) long. The southern portal is built of rough-dressed stone, with a semi-circular arch under a pediment which houses a plaque with the name of the engineer, W Smith, and the date 1879.

Bill Kelly, Network Rail’s Route Director for Wales and Borders, 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.”

Network Rail would like to thank Dyer and Butler who, along with Network Rail colleagues, are making the lighting up of the tunnel possible.