Box tunnel is a railway tunnel in western England, located between Bath and Swindon. The tunnel passes through Box Hill which consists mainly of limestone and was built for the original route of The Great Western Railway under the direction of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This tunnel, the construction of which began in 1836, was opened in 1841. It is two miles long on a descending gradient of 1 in 100. At the time of opening, it was reputed to be the longest railway tunnel in the world. The tunnel is so straight that some have argued that on clear days the sun can actually be seen shining through its complete length. Indeed, there has been much speculation about a story which states that Brunel deliberately aligned the tunnel so that the rising sun would be visible through it on April 9th each year (Brunel’s Birthday). As part of the celebrations to mark the centenary of the Great Western Railway, a high speed non-stop service entitled the "Bristolian” was introduced between London and Bristol in 1935. Initially a "King" class locomotive was employed for this run. The Loco 6024 "King Edward 1” is one of three surviving members of the Great Western King Class locomotives. The GWR 6000 Class or "King” is a class 4-6-0 steam locomotive which was designed for express passenger work. This is one of the largest Locos that GWR ever built and was named for the Kings of England. Built for the Great Western Railway in June 1930 at Swindon works, it is one of the heaviest express passenger trains on the GWR system. In company with the other Kings, the engine was fitted with a double blast pipe and chimney in 1957 to improve efficiency and performance. Originally housed at Plymouth, it was transferred to Old Oak Common Shed in London in March 1959 and finally to Cardiff depot in 1962. Following its withdrawal from service in 1962 the Loco was sold off. It has since been preserved and is now used for passenger charters such as the Torbay express.
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