A few days ago I was invited to walk down a disused railway tunnel in Preston called Miley Tunnel. It’s only a quarter of a mile long, however it was apparently haunted by a grey lady who would walk the tunnel towards any oncoming visitors.

The Deepdale end of Miley Tunnel

Myself, Joe Stashko and Andy Halls decided to check this out for Blog Preston to see if there was any truth in this legend. So armed with torches and a camera we headed down to investigate. Now before I go any further let me just explain a bit about the tunnel and the railway that used to run through it.

The Preston and Longridge Railway company opened a line from the Lancashire city which ran 6.5 miles to Longridge in 1840. Originally the wagons on the line were horse drawn or powered by gravity (which sounds a bit risky!). In 1846 the line was taken over by the Fleetwood, Preston and West Riding Junction Railway who had an ambitious plan to use the route as part of line which would connect Fleetwood to Leeds and Bradford.  However this never materialised and no extensions were built.

By 1930 buses in Preston were proving to be the more popular way of moving about so the line closed to passengers. Freight traffic remained until 1980 when the line closed for good.

So what of the line today?

Well it’s very overgrown for a start. We decided to walk from the Deepdale end towards the West Coast Main Line, with the other end of Miley Tunnel being located in the heart of the University of Central Lancashire’s campus. Scrambling down the banks of the cutting proved to be a challenge with brambles aplenty. If you don’t fall over the twisted branches then the rusty track and rotten sleepers are hiding in the weeds waiting to trip you up.

The tunnel itself was dirty and full of litter with a bent fence at the end offering a feeble barrier between us and the dark. After 200 yards or so the tunnel curved round and very quickly the last remaining traces of sunlight disappeared leaving us in total darkness and liable to fall over the track and dips in the ballast.

If the ghost was to appear then this was the time.

Well after a few more paces a white light started to appear in the distance, rapidly getting bigger and bigger. And you know what it was? The light coming in from the other end. No grey lady or any other ghost.

A couple of minutes later we had reached the other end with no haunting experiences. The only thing which puzzled me in the trip is in the two photos below.

These two photos were taken at the Moor Lane end of the tunnel, where the line is in a deep cutting briefly between the Miley Tunnel the other shorter tunnel under the university campus. I apologise for the blurriness of these photos however they were on a 1.6s shutter release and I didn’t have a tripod so the quality of them is reduced.

But what is that blue line? It may just be a trick of the light or my flash but it doesn’t make much sense in my mind. If anyone has any ideas or just some wild speculation let me know on the comments below! Maybe I’m being an idiot. Maybe I’m looking for something that isn’t really there. It’s probably nothing but part of me wants it to be something.

For more photos of Miley Tunnel, please visit my Flickr.

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