frrc wrote:Moisture is a major problem inside the tunnel affecting electrical circuits. I recall hearing years ago the signals were made from stainless steel or brass to fight the corrosion caused by the smoke and moisture. Not sure if this is still done, there used to be a person called "the tunnel walker" whose job was to walk the tunnel from end to end, once a day (i.e. like a track inspector).
Hmm, sounds like a fun job
I talked to my uncle recently who said he got a tour of the blower house. He saw some GRS guys and they invited him in (they must have thought he was a railfan). They were maintaining one of the two antiquated Westinghouse blowers (400RPM, 1600HP I think?). Sounded intense. Anyway, the entire central shaft was all black with soot, and the maintainers said that as they got older, the fans were increasingly less reliable, and having moisture-related electrical problems (not to mention GRS owns some of the smokiest, dirtiest locomotives in America). They were built in 1947! Anyway, one of the blowers, the one not out for maintanence, starts up, and even though it was turning very slow, it took forever to spool up and was very loud! Sounded like a slow speed jet engine! If you actually go out back and look, when the doors behind the vents are open, you can see in, and it looks just like looking in the back of a jet engine. The roar was pretty intense, even with only one operating. He says they are operated by the dispatcher on duty in Lawrence!