• Hoosac Tunnel Discussion & News

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

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  by jkrail
 
Greetings:
If you are interested in learning more on the Hoosac Tunnel then check out my website! (shameless plug)
Seasons Greetings and Merry Christmas
Jerry
  by henry6
 
...a great site, JK!! Thanks. WHen I lived in Spfld, MA in the mid 60's, the tunnel was one of my favorite weekend destinations. Even today when traveling between upstate NY and Maine I find myself drawn to Route 2 and down the hill to the east portal of then tunnel. It was, and still is, an engineering marvel, a railfans's delight, and the best surrounding scenery of any tunnel, at least, in the East!

  by NealG
 
If you're ever out that way, check out Western Gateway Heritage State Park. They have a very nice exhibit on the construction of the tunnel.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Did GRS ever install new CWR in Hoosac Tunnel this past summer (or fall)? Haven't heard anything but I was on vaca for two weeks in September - did I miss anything?

  by uugh
 
Yes they did, Early August I think. For a while there was a bunch of rail lined up along the active rail. There are little dig outs where the rail meets the rail ties now. Trains are still traveling through slow as death tho.

  by johnpbarlow
 
GRS lawn looks pretty good at the W portal - I wish mine looked as good! I wonder if their landscaping service does residential work?

  by Agent at Clicquot
 
uugh wrote:I took these pictures early August. I dont recall seein at the time the same parellel rails on the east end but for all I know they could have already been installed.

http://hoosac.franklinsites.com/images/ ... rtalIn.jpg
http://hoosac.franklinsites.com/images/ ... al2005.jpg
Those pics almost make it appear that the tunnel now carries double track ... in three foot gauge! lol

* JB *
  by Beech Cricker
 
My wife and I will be in Western Mass. next week. I'd like to visit Hoosac Tunnel while there. Is it accessible? If so, how does one get to one or both of the portals? About all that I know is that it is near North Adams but I also see a village named Hoosac Tunnel on the highway map.
  by Beech Cricker
 
We found the east portal while in the area, soon after a bear crossed the highway in front of us while motoring over Florida Mountain.

Are the A-shaped structures between the east portal and highway crossing from the electrification era?

Jeff

  by NellsChoo
 
Yes. When they were complete, they used to carry the electric wires that powered the electric locomotives that pulled trains through the tunnel.

  by B&MYoshi
 
Getting to the West Portal is difficult, but possible.

Starting from the center of North Adams, take either 8A south (Ashland St or Church St). Ashland Street will merge into Church street after the mainline crosses both roads. After the merge, look for a blue industrial facility on the right called Morrison Berkshire Inc.. Just after this facility on the other side of 8A is a narrow, hidden dirt trail leading up the hill. The trail does have a gate, but the last time I was there, it was open. This trail will wind a bit upwards, and come to a small clearing near a little pond. The tracks are directly in front.

The portal is still to the east, so you can walk along a dirt trail which crosses a bridge over the pond paralleling the tracks to the portal. While this portion may look good for a vehicle, I believe the bridge is too narrow and possible not strong enouge. Additionally, the trail becomes very rough later on. Continue up the trail. Eventually you will see the portal. You will be in a safe location, but up a hill from the tunnel, whose view will be obscured by trees.
If you want to get close to the portal, continue a bit past the portal and walk to the top of the portal. The portal has retaining walls that form steps that you can use to descend to track level. There is enough space to be in a relatively safe position from oncoming trains.
Alternatively, you can walk from where you parked straght ahead to the tracks, then walk alongside them to the portal. However, in some areas you may come closer to the tracks than you want to be.

Here is a picture of the portal I snapped on my last visit:
Image

I cannot confirm that the trail beyond 8A is public property, and it most likely does belong to the railroad. Beware.

http://maps.google.com/maps?oi=map&q=North+Adams,+MA
This is a map of North Adams provided by Google Maps. Switch to Hybrid view, and follow 8A south, watching for the small pond along side the tracks not far from the portal. If you hit the Southview Cemetery, you're too far.
Last edited by B&MYoshi on Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

  by NellsChoo
 
THANKS for the info! Not sure if we will ever actually get to the portal, but at least we know where it is now in case we do decide to try it out!

  by uugh
 
There is lots of good stuff near the West Portal, take a look at my site for directions and well.. pretty much everything...

The trail is private property (and gated) so beware! There are public trails up on Westshaft road on the east side of the road where one could "accidentally" wander down to the portal to :)

http://hoosactunnel.net/west.php
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