Pictures of everything and anything from anywhere….but mainly from Glasgow and Edinburgh

The innocent tunnel

This is The Innocent Tunnel, formerly a railway tunnel but now part of a cycle path. I’m going to be lazy here, this is what Wikipedia says about it:

“The Innocent Railway is now a cycle path connecting central Edinburgh, at Newington and St. Leonard’s at its west end, with Duddingston, Niddrie and Craigmillar to the east. The path continues, directly linking Bingham and Brunstane.

The route has what might be Britain’s first railway tunnel built around 1830 by James Jardine, which stretches 350 yards under the southern edge of Holyrood Park and is open to the public, forming part of the cycle route through the park. There is also a cast iron bridge at the Duddingston Road junction which is one of the earliest surviving examples of its type. The route passes very near to, and affords a view of, the Scottish Wildlife Trust property of Duddingston Loch.”

It’s quite a creepy place to be, even during the day. It was pretty warm outside but with all the dripping from the damp walls and the fact that you can see your breath and hear every little movement echoed it was quite easy to forget about the sunshine outside, the only hint of it the light at the end of the tunnel. It doesn’t look that long in this picture, or when you’re in it, but it is very deceptive.

Apparently there are several tunnels like this in Edinburgh, I have just discovered. The rest aren’t strictly speaking open to the public, but access isn’t too bad, I’ve heard. Queue future spooky tunnel adventures!

P.S. I forgot to mention it’s called The Innocent Tunnel because it was part of “The Innocent Railway”, so called because it was horse drawn at a time when steam power was still considered dangerous. This is the official story, however another theory states that it is called this because no one died during the construction of the railway, which was fairly uncommon in those days.

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59 responses

  1. I like the photo, but the tunnel looks long and lonely, although I can see the light at the end:-)

    26/06/2011 at 9:16 am

    • It did have a bit of a lonely feel to it, but at the same time you could sense the history that it had. Plus there was the odd cyclist flying past, looking at me a bit strangely obviously wondering what I was doing with a tripod in the middle of the cycle path!

      26/06/2011 at 10:09 am

  2. barb19

    It looks very creepy and I wouldn’t like to be cycling along there on my own!
    You captured a brilliant shot of it!

    26/06/2011 at 9:35 am

    • Yeah, I certainly wouldn’t go there on my own at night! Thanks:)

      26/06/2011 at 10:10 am

  3. I’m pretty claustrophobic and probably would think twice about going inside this tunnel, but I love the photograph. I like the way you’ve captured the variation in colours on the bricks and I like the line of lights down the middle which look like stars. Very nice.

    26/06/2011 at 9:53 am

    • Thanks Meanderer! I tried to get the lights in a straight line in the shot for a while before I realised that they just aren’t in a straight line anyway!

      26/06/2011 at 10:11 am

  4. Pingback: No cycling « Photographic Memories

  5. I love this tunnel shot …yes, it has a lonely feel to it, and it’s very dramatic.

    26/06/2011 at 12:48 pm

  6. wow – great shot!

    26/06/2011 at 1:14 pm

  7. You really do use HDR very well. What software do you use?

    26/06/2011 at 1:39 pm

    • Thanks Nigel, I use Photomatix. I tried out HDR express as well, but I like the degree of control you get in Photomatix much more.

      26/06/2011 at 6:32 pm

  8. It looks like something the Dementors would chase Harry Potter through!! Would still like to see it though!

    26/06/2011 at 1:40 pm

  9. This is super Kieran!

    26/06/2011 at 9:29 pm

  10. I absolutely love this. I actually find it rather calming and peaceful to look at.

    26/06/2011 at 11:52 pm

    • Thanks Samantha, I’m glad you find it calming, you’re the only one so far!

      27/06/2011 at 3:18 pm

  11. Beauty! Nice HDR!

    27/06/2011 at 1:00 am

  12. Increadible shot you have here. I love it.

    27/06/2011 at 3:13 am

  13. Jeez, this shot makes me feel claustrophobic, like no matter how much I walk I will never reach the other end. I feel that when I’m running to catch the bus, too:). Great composition, Kieran, and I hope to see more pictures from your adventures.

    27/06/2011 at 3:59 am

    • Ha ha, it is pretty claustrophobic! It is a very long tunnel, probably the longest I’ve ever walked through anyway. More pics coming soon:)

      27/06/2011 at 3:21 pm

  14. elmediat

    Great composition, beautiful use of perspectiveFor teachers and students this is about how we a feeling right now. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel ! Monday I can put in all the final marks to be recorded and transferred to report files on computer. All that is left is …. more paper work, graduation ceremonies, departmental and staff wide meetings, clean up the room for the big room switch for next semester, and work on the twelve photo compositions for next year’s school calendar. Sunsetseasoul is right I do feel a bit claustrophobic at the moment .

    27/06/2011 at 4:19 am

    • Thanks:) I hope it isn’t too much! I’m lucky enough to finish university quite early in the year, around May – April, and got my exam results a few weeks ago. For me the light at the end of the tunnel is graduation, still another 2 years away!

      27/06/2011 at 3:24 pm

  15. What a fabulously gritty shot…it’s perfect. Such a superb location and very well shot. Took a wander amongst your other posts. Really fab work here Kieran.

    27/06/2011 at 4:29 am

    • Thanks very much Gina! And cheers for taking the time to look at my other posts. I didn’t get a chance to look through your blog yesterday as I was tired and could hardly keep my eyes open, but I’ve had a look today and you have some amazing pictures! Thanks for visiting:)

      27/06/2011 at 11:25 am

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  17. wonderful and impressive, really good

    27/06/2011 at 11:31 am

    • Thanks Fabrizio! I had a look at your site, some amazing photography there, beautiful pictures!

      27/06/2011 at 3:26 pm

  18. Stunning work as always, I really like the range of colours that you have pulled out of the tunnel.
    Astra Wally

    27/06/2011 at 11:43 am

    • Thanks very much Astra! I was quite surprised by how much of the colour came out in post processing, it was going to be a black and white but for once I stuck with the colour.

      27/06/2011 at 3:27 pm

  19. Love the detail in this photo, great shot!

    27/06/2011 at 12:17 pm

  20. Pingback: Headlines – “J.K. Rowling thinks of Harry Potter series as an ex-lover.” | bridgesburning

  21. Hi Kieran, I featured the link to this on a post I did today on headlines!

    27/06/2011 at 4:31 pm

    • Thanks very much for the mention Chris, much appreciated, and an excellent post from yourself:)

      27/06/2011 at 4:50 pm

  22. That sure looks like a very interesting place, and following on I’d definitely be looking to get in to the more inaccessible tunnels of the area… although maybe not alone.. lol… Love the perspective and mood you’ve captured in this one…

    27/06/2011 at 5:55 pm

    • Thanks Brian! I’ve been scoping out some of the other tunnels already. I was going to take the girlfriend but I don’t think she’s up for these adventures, going to have to be a friend I think!

      28/06/2011 at 11:44 am

  23. dhaami

    drama! beautifully shot..

    27/06/2011 at 6:07 pm

  24. I hope you are making cash out of these. This is good stuff.
    p.s. I’m broke….

    27/06/2011 at 8:26 pm

    • So far I’ve received a couple of free tickets to Dynamic Earth in exchange for the (possible) use of one of my pictures, bit no sales as of yet unfortunately. I’m trying to build a portfolio, but like yourself I am also very much skint!

      28/06/2011 at 11:47 am

  25. Kim

    This is the first time that I visited your blog and I was quite stunned about the first photograph. Very impressive, Kieran!

    27/06/2011 at 10:02 pm

  26. This tunnel photo is absolutely amazing. And the color that bounces off the tunnel walls is amazing.

    28/06/2011 at 12:08 am

    • Thanks Kay! It’s one of my new favourite place in Edinburgh, hopefully I’ll come up with some new, more creative, shots of the tunnel in the future.

      28/06/2011 at 11:51 am

  27. – and she’s buying a railway to heaven (sic).
    Love how you captured the pale greens, beiges, and yellows along with the not quite blacks. A truly impressive shot

    28/06/2011 at 2:52 am

  28. This has got to be one of my favorites yet, sir! Something about this just makes you wonder… so interesting! And so wonderfully captured – amazing work, Mr. H!:)

    29/06/2011 at 3:45 am

    • Thanks Spilledinkguy, people seem to be really like this one! I’m going to go back and try and get some more abstract shots of the tunnel. It is a pretty interesting place, to me at least! One of my new favourite spots in Edinburgh!

      29/06/2011 at 11:34 am

  29. Hey Kieran, wow this is such a majestic, mystical shot. It gives me such an exhilarating feeling; I would definitely love to explore these tunnels. I have recently took to riding a bike😉

    16/07/2011 at 9:49 pm

  30. I love the exposure in this shot Kieran. Nice.

    21/07/2011 at 4:33 pm

  31. Muy buena!! me encanta!

    20/07/2012 at 7:45 am

  32. Great shot

    21/07/2012 at 1:03 pm

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