Gallitzin Tunnel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gallitzin Tunnels
Conrail 6169, Gallitzin Tunnel, 1993.jpg
Conrail 6169 leads a westbound train through the west portal of the Gallitzin Tunnel in 1993. At right, the west portal of the Allegheny Tunnel.
Overview
Location Gallitzin, Pennsylvania
Status Gallitzin Tunnel out of service 1995; Allegheny Tunnel (two tracks) and New Portage Tunnel (one track) in service
Operation
Opened Gallitzin Tunnel 1904, Allegheny Tunnel 1854, New Portage Tunnel 1855
Owner Norfolk Southern Railway
Operator Norfolk Southern Railway
Technical
Track length Gallitzin Tunnel 3,612 feet, Allegheny Tunnel 3,612 feet, New Portage Tunnel 1,620 feet
No. of tracks Gallitzin Tunnel 0 (1 track 1904-1995), Allegheny Tunnel 2 (1 track 1904-1995), New Portage Tunnel 1 (2 tracks 1898-1971)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Highest elevation Gallitzin and Allegheny Tunnels 2,167 feet (at west tunnel portals), New Portage Tunnel 2,198 feet (at AR tower west of west tunnel portal)

The Gallitzin Tunnels in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania, formed the Pennsylvania Railroad's passage through the Allegheny Mountains in western Pennsylvania. Their ownership has since passed to Penn Central Transportation Company, then to Conrail, and most recently to the Norfolk Southern Railway. Just east of the tunnels is the famous Horseshoe Curve.

The first tunnel, which is the middle of the three bores through the mountain, was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) from 1851 to 1854. Originally named "Summit" Tunnel, it is 3,612 feet long at an elevation of 2,167 feet above mean sea level and is known today as the Allegheny Tunnel.

The second tunnel, the southernmost of the bores, was constructed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 1852 to 1855 as part of the New Portage Railroad (NPRR). In 1857, the PRR bought the New Portage Railroad from the Commonwealth, and appropriated the "Allegheny" name for its "Summit" tunnel. The PRR took the New Portage Tunnel out of service shortly thereafter. In the 1890s, it was expanded to two tracks and used as the primary route for eastbound traffic.

The third tunnel, the Gallitzin Tunnel, was begun in 1902 and opened in 1904 immediately to the north of the Allegheny Tunnel.

In the early 1990s, Conrail (with money from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania) enlarged the Allegheny and New Portage Tunnels to accommodate double-stack container on flatcar (COFC) trains. The New Portage Tunnel was opened for eastbound COFC traffic in 1993. The Allegheny Tunnel was enlarged from its original 1854 cross-section to contain two tracks for that could be used for double-stack traffic in either direction. The work was completed in September 1995, and the Gallitzin Tunnel (which was not enlarged) was taken out of service.

By the 2000s, Amtrak's Pennsylvanian trains traveled through the tunnel.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]