There have been two railway tunnels through hills at this site. The original tunnel (1,567 yards) was opened on 17th September 1861. It was designed by Stephen Ballard who is buried at his home nearby. This tunnel was replaced by a new one (1,589 yards) bored alongside it and opened on 2nd August 1926. The original tunnel was used as a naval armament store during World War Two with an associated narrow gauge railway but now is the home of a protected species of bat.
Photographs of trains entering the tunnel through the Malvern Hills are quite rare but Tim Farebrother was able, in the early 1960s, to make this fine study of an ex-GWR "Castle" class 4-6-0 steam locomotive approaching the tunnel with the 'down' "Cathedrals Express . The area on the right hand side of the photograph is the approach to the original tunnel which was built by the Worcester and Hereford Railway.
First Great Western HST No.43032 leads No.43042 on the climb to the tunnel through the Malvern Hills on 13th April 2003. Photograph taken by Robert Pritchard.
At the same spot as the above photograph is First Great Western HST car No.43027 leading No.43124 on the final part of the climb from Malvern Wells on 4th May 2003. Photograph taken by Robert Pritchard.
On 12th April 2011 London Midland's class 170/5 two-car diesel multiple unit No.170504 has just exited the tunnel on the way to its next stop at Great Malvern with the 11:39 service from Hereford to Birmingham New Street. Photograph taken by Andrew Smith.