• 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 trainsinmaine
 
How much traffic does the B&M (Pan Am) main get between Mechanicville and Rotterdam Jct. these days?

  by B&MYoshi
 
As far as I thought, Mechanicville had become insignificant now and whatever trains move through the rest of District 4 travel between Mechanicville and Rotterdam.

Chances are I'm wrong.

  by Skullitor
 
Exellent advice Jerry.Thats where Gary"THE BOSS"Young holds his
"SUMMITS" from.Watch for Cigar butts,You'll know if he's been there.Eh Jerry? :P
  by NellsChoo
 
In cold weather, East Portal can feel rather creepy. No railfans, no cars, no nothin'. The mist that at times comes out of the portal adds to the mood.

I have seen some real dopes, obvious non-railfans, park next to the rails and walk into the tunnel. I'd like to do that for historical documentation, but would prefer to stay out of jail. Sure, railroad police are few and far between, but with my luck, they would show up and catch me...

Anyhoo, what I would like to know, though, is who are those people who set up campers in the patch of land next to East Portal? They have BBQs and everything. Does someone own the land, rent it, or are these railroad employees? They sure don't look like it. I am curous...

Image

JD

  by Pj
 
I was at the west portal once and actually encountered the GRS (aka B&M Police) there one summer, as I was just exploring the area. We had a good time (as we both worked for a PD). This was pre 9/11 I think too, or pretty close.

Both sides are bear and snake country.

If your going to the east side, yes - park at the river access. I have never seen PD up there at all, but doesn't mean that MSP can't make a ride thru there, and MSP doesn't have a sense of humor.

Either way, use some of that grey matter between the ears and don't go into the tunnel. Its dark, wet, and misrable and no amount of flash is going to do anything for you.

Other than it being a "tunnel", its really not worth too many trips there (erratic train freq, poor photo locations, etc). Cool, yes. Worth the drive every weekend? I don't think so. But thats just me.
  by jkrail
 
Anyhoo, what I would like to know, though, is who are those people who set up campers in the patch of land next to East Portal? They have BBQs and everything. Does someone own the land, rent it, or are these railroad employees? They sure don't look like it. I am curous...

Hello Nells and all:
I do not know who these people that occasionally camp out in this area are but if I had a camper I would be there too!
This area is owned by the railroad but there seems to be no problem with camping here.
It could be that the railroad is only interested with people near the tunnel and on the tracks and not with campers at a safe distance.
Just speculating....
Jerry

  by BAR
 
I have only visited the East Portal on one occasion two years ago. The fans who were camped there that day were from the WFPT (Worchester Foreign Power Team). They were enjoying steaks and cigars along with their trainwatching and the tranquility of the woods and river. Friendly folks and we had a good discussion of Guilford operations before I had to head west to Albany.
  by Gary Young
 
The two campers with the trailers,one works for the MBTA and the other works for Bay Colony RR.

  by NellsChoo
 
Is that railroad property, then? Or are they just getting special treatment? Must be awful lonely there at night...

JD

  by Pj
 
The area by the "old start" may be RR, but its far enough back (and behind some concrete barriers I think) that nobody bugs people there. The area at the fishing access at the bridge is not RR property, and no one bugs anyone there either. Its the property on the north side of the tracks that is frowned upon.

Gary and company has been up there for YEARS.
  by mbta1051dan
 
Hey,

Some questions about the haunted Hoosac Tunnel. I've always been curious about it.

1. How fast are trains allowed through there?
2. How many trains a day pass through?
3. The Central Shaft:
I've always been curious as to how big those two fans are. I've seen the building from the outside, with its two jet exhausts, but always wondered what's inside? Any pics? (Or are even pictures in this building not allowed to be shared by anyone other then PAR employees?) Also, does anyone have audio/video of the fans running? My uncle lives near the fans, and says they make a hideous roar that can be heard for miles, and can be heard in the tunnel too. I'm curious.

I also remember reading something about a siren being installed there that went off whenever a train passed through. My uncle said he has heard sirens, but these might have been fire sirens.

http://www.bridge-line.org/blhs/HoosacTunnel.html

-Dan
  by harleyfiremedic
 
I was at the tunnel a week or so ago. I was also lucky enough to have a train go past as I was taking my photos. I was at the Eastern Portal. As the train approached I heard no fan noise or any sirens. The train was moving fairly slowly, but it is working up hill at that point so I can't really say a speed.

From there I drove over tot he central shaft building. Unfortunately, the fence around the building was overgrown and you could not see the building very well. I did not take any photo's since they would have shown mostly leaves. It did not appear to be running while I was there. (it was quiet)

It was very interesting to actually see the tunnel and to have a train go by was an added bonus.
  by mick
 
............................
Last edited by mick on Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by johnpbarlow
 
There's an interesting 9 page illustrated article in the current issue of Trains mag (November 2008) about the construction and renovation of Hoosac Tunnnel. The comparative profile of the competing New England gateways, B&A v. B&M, shows that the summit in Hoosac Tunnel is ~600' lower in altitude than B&A's Hinsdale summit, 836' v. 1,456', and has easier approach gradients. However, I was surprised to see that B&A's crossing of the "Coastal Divide" at Charlton is 895' in altitude v. B&M's summit at Gardner of 1,112', which is ~400' higher than Hoosac Tunnel.
  by newpylong
 
mick wrote:Track speed through the tunnel is currently 25 MPH. The Central Shaft is large holes on either sides of the track in the middle of the tunnel, I don't know if they join together above the tunnel or if there are 2 shafts. It just looks like a cave, nothing fancy.
The Hoosac Tunnel is one place I would not want to fool around in. There are telephones in there that are supposed to work,(I had to use one once, and it did work , but just barely, with sparks coming out when I tapped on the plunger or whatever you call it, and that was ten years ago)) but who knows, they might, they might not. I've been told if anything ever happened with a crew in there, it would be a long time before help arrived, never mind a person who they didn't even know was in there. It stinks, theres always fumes ( the fans work, but not perfectly), the mud is rock dust mixed with water and it sticks to your shoes like cement. Whenever I go through there on a train, I'm just glad to get the hell out on the other side.(and get a coffee at North Adams or Stewarts in Pownal, shhhh, don't tell anybody)

The best was going into the bore on a clear at West Portal to have 5,000 west drop to red in your face. Its hard to go restricted speed in the dark when the tunnel is full of diesel smoke. Kinda scary not knowing what's going on ahead of you or what's coming at you. We tried to use two tunnel phones only to have them not work. Needless to say, being outside the cab of a stopped train inside that tunnel is not something to look forward to, especially when both sides of the roadbed are submerged.
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