The Kielder Tunnels, which commenced driving in summer 1975, will total some 32 km in length. Located between the rivers Tyne and Tees, they will traverse a predominantly gently dipping series of sediments of Carboniferous age, of widely differing lithologies and engineering characteristics, with limited faulting and folding.

This paper describes the geology of the route, and the planning and implementation of the site investigations, which included field survey, boreholes, rock mechanics testing and hydro-geological investigations all designed to determine likely tunnelling conditions.

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