Abandoned railway tunnel converted into supercar test facility

A 1.6-mile deserted railway tunnel in the UK has been transformed right into a supercar take a look at monitor.

A part of the previous Nice Central Primary Line, the Catesby Tunnel will quickly change into a 24/7 testing facility for engineering agency Aero Analysis Companions (ARP), in keeping with a New Civil Engineer article on the mission. The power opened to the general public in November 2021, in keeping with the Catesby Tunnel web site, though the tunnel’s house owners have not introduced what corporations may use the ability.

The tunnel was accomplished in 1897 and closed in 1966. It then sat deserted for greater than 50 years. After proposals to reopen it as a rail line fell by means of, approval was granted in 2017 to transform the tunnel into an aerodynamic testing facility for supercars and race vehicles.

A part of that conversion concerned racetrack-spec asphalt, together with the identical stone used to pave the Silverstone, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi tracks that host Formulation One Grands Prix.

The benefit of a tunnel take a look at monitor is that it permits vehicles to be pushed at important speeds in an enclosed area that’s unaffected by climate. That creates repeatable situations, not like out of doors testing the place adjustments in climate can have an effect on outcomes. Along with aerodynamic testing, the ability can be utilized to check cooling, noise, and emissions.

The concept is not unprecedented. Pennsylvania’s Laurel Hill Tunnel was utilized by Chip Ganassi Racing for aerodynamic testing of race vehicles starting within the early 2000s. The 4,541-foot tunnel was constructed for a never-completed railway line, then turned a part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike earlier than being bypassed. The transformed tunnel was reportedly first used to check Indy Racing League (IRL) vehicles in 2004, with vehicles working at speeds as much as 130 mph.

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