Earlsheaton Tunnel, opened to walkers and cyclists on 16th January 2013, now forms part of the Ossett to Dewsbury Greenway, which will soon be extended to meet up with another section of rail trail that currently ends at the Wakefield Council border. Member Peter Martin attended the opening event to record the occasion.

Above: Before the recent conversion work, the 179 yard Earlsheaton tunnel presented an unprepossessing sight. This photograph was taken on a Yorkshire Area walk on 31st March 2012, and shows one of the abutments which used to support the GNR's bridge over Preston Street. (Peter Martin)

Above: Guests and local residents assemble at the western end of Earlsheaton Tunnel before the opening ceremony on Wednesday 16th January 2013. A quick comparison with the photograph above reveals how much work – and investment – has gone on here. (Peter Martin)
Above: A school party cycled through the tunnel from the eastern (i.e. Earlsheaton/Chickenley) end to take part in the opening ceremony. Here they are on arrival at the western end. Schools are now responsible for making pupils aware of the environmental impact of their travel choices, and for encouraging healthier lifestyles in the young, so this project on the school's own doorstep will have been a godsend. (Peter Martin)
Above: The Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr David Ridgway, cuts the ribbon to officially open Earlsheaton Tunnel to walkers and cyclists, although – strictly speaking – this was a re-opening ceremony. Local communities might as well get the benefit from resources like this, because they have to be maintained. Neglect is not an option because disused railway tunnels have anything above them from working farmland to busy streets. (Peter Martin)
Above: The interior of Earlsheaton Tunnel looking towards the eastern end. The tunnel is lit around the clock but the lighting has been designed to be bat-friendly. It reduces in intensity at dusk and has been positioned to create a dark corridor along the south sidewall and at the crown along which the bats can navigate. Similar bat-friendly provision is being made in the two tunnels south of Bath, which are due to open in April as part of a traffic-free link into the city from the south. (Peter Martin)
Above: A view along the greenway towards the eastern portal of Earlsheaton Tunnel. This picture makes it even more obvious than the others that the opening took place on a bitterly cold day, but hot drinks and cakes were provided to help keep out the weather. (Peter Martin)
Above: The eastern portal of Earlsheaton Tunnel. (With a bit more snow, this could have made a good Railway Ramblers Christmas card!) The public face of the tunnel is a typical Great Northern edifice of brick and cut stone. (Peter Martin)
Above: 'The crowds have gone home and the cast sailed away' (Keith Reid). Looking along the former railway alignment towards the western portal of Earlsheaton Tunnel. The line used to cross the road on a bridge at this point. To achieve a crossing on the level, the road has been raised to minimise the descent of the realigned path from trackbed level. (Peter Martin)