AS a £15million repair job on the Whiteball Tunnel neared completion, the County Gazette was given behind the scenes access to the historic landmark.

Network Rail carried out track renewal and expanded the drainage system on the embankment as part of a wider plan to reduce flood risks.

The tunnel runs under the Blackdown Hills to Wellington Bank, but during its closure trains were suspended between Taunton and Tiverton, increasing journey times by up to an hour.

Work has now finished and the tunnel is due to re-open today (February 10) - but flooding is causing severe disruption to services across the West. Click here for our live travel page.

David Crome, First Great Western’s general manager for the west, said: “This £15million Network Rail project is essential to prevent the ageing structure from deteriorating further and to renew rail track."

See our video below.