• Hauto Tunnel

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by RDG2111
I'm looking for some info on the Hauto Tunnel that carriend the Lehigh, New England under Nesquehoning mt. between Lansford and Hauto. I know it was built in 1871, is over a mile long, and was acquired by CNJ in 1960 along with the rest of the LNE and is abandoned today, but thats where the info dries up. Dose anyone know what happened to the Hauto Tunnel after 1960? And is there any way to access the portal on the Hauto side?

  by JimBoylan
You will need boots, the ditches are overflowing. In 1975, I was discussing with a Lehigh Valley railroad policeman if his jurisdiction included the tunnel. At that time, the LV was operating the Central Railroad of Pennsylvania, but we weren't sure if the Lehigh & New England was included, especially as the tunnel had no train service at that time. Eventually, he wandered back to the Nesquehoning branch, and we explored the tunnel behind his back.

1871 is when an exit from some coal mines in the mountain was turned into a tunnel, so the Switchback Railroad could be bypassed. While it is single track, some of the junctions with coal mines inside the mountain were made full size for a double track railroad. Mahanoy City Tunnel on the Reading is done the same way.

  by carajul
The tunnel was last used in 1969. Water was a constant problem even in LNE days and water caused a partial collapse in '69. By '69 the coal mines and 90% of the traffic was gone, the LNE was defunct, and the CNJ was broke so it was not repaired. In 1996 Rt 54 (the road over the tunnel on the Hauto side) collapsed into the tunnel due to coal trucks servicing a nearby plant. It was one truck after another until residents complained so much the R&N took over with rail service. The collapse happened at night, and a car almost skidded into the hole. PennDOT filled in the Hauto side of the tunnel. There was a gorgeous stone archway on the Hauto side, a sign (that is still there in the mud) and warning ropes still hanging over the bore. There is also a telegraph pole half way up the mountain on the Hauto side.

I walked thru the tunnel in '90 and there was knee deep water inside and niagra falls coming off the walls.

The track in the tunnel is still there but removed at each end of the bore.

The track went right behind the white house (that still stands) thru the back yard.

Back in the early 20th century, before children became so lazy they had to take a school bus to go 1 mile, kids used to walk thru the tunnel (live rail line) to school in Lansford.