Advancing Tunnelling – the Victorian Engineering Management Legacy

Edmonson, Vikki, Sherratt, Fred, Roff, Richard and Levett, Andy (2018) Advancing Tunnelling – the Victorian Engineering Management Legacy. Proceedings of the ICE - Forensic Engineering, 171 (2). pp. 49-57. ISSN 2043-9911

[img] Text
Accepted Version
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (6MB)
[img] Other (Acceptance)
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (27kB) | Request a copy
Official URL:


The Victorians are often held up as giants in civil engineering, able to build, span and tunnel in ways that had never been seen before, and which still provide much of our contemporary infrastructure. Their legacy can be easily seen in the railway networks of Great Britain, which demanded some of the most difficult and challenging civil engineering ever seen. As a consequence of such endeavors, Victorian times also saw the emergence of the ‘celebrity’ engineer. Stellar figures who first experienced the shift away from technical and site-based practices and moved instead towards the management and leadership of construction works, a professional legacy that arguably remains today. Such figures also served to further anonymise the construction workers or Navvies, who were already working in dangerous and unhealthy conditions on projects where loss of life was felt to be inevitable. Unpacking Victorian railway tunneling operations duly acknowledges the spectacular feats of engineering we have inherited from them, but also reveals how their legacy has also contributed to the ways in which we mobilise tunneling operations today. It is argued that such contributions should be recognised and consciously re-balanced if we are take the next steps to improve tunneling operations within the profession of civil engineering today.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Tunnels, Tunnelling, History, Failure
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Fred Sherratt
Date Deposited: 17 May 2018 14:19
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:57

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item