Big Savage Tunnel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Big Savage Tunnel
Big Savage tunnel.jpg
LocationSomerset County, Pennsylvania
Coordinates39°44′27″N 78°53′37″W / 39.74083°N 78.89361°W / 39.74083; -78.89361Coordinates: 39°44′27″N 78°53′37″W / 39.74083°N 78.89361°W / 39.74083; -78.89361
Statusrestored, converted to rail trail
SystemWestern Maryland Railway (defunct)
Work begun1911
Closed1975 (rail line abandoned), renovated in 2005 and reopened
Length3,294.6 feet (1,004.2 m)
No. of tracksSingle
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Highest elevation2,351 feet (717 m)

The Big Savage Tunnel is a rail trail tunnel located about 9 miles (14 km) southeast of Meyersdale, Pennsylvania. It, as well as the Pinkerton Tunnel, Borden Tunnel, and Brush Tunnel are part of the Great Allegheny Passage trail.[2] It was originally built for the Connellsville subdivision of the Western Maryland Railway.[3]

Origin of the name[edit]

The mountain and tunnel are named for John Savage, an early surveyor who narrowly avoided becoming a victim of cannibalism in the area in 1736. While he was surveying the land in the wintertime, the circumstances became dire and he offered himself up as food, but the rest of the survey party declined.[4]

Renovated for Great Allegeny Passage bicycle trail[edit]

The tunnel was renovated for use on the Great Allegheny Passage rail trail. It is the longest tunnel on the trail.[5]

The tunnel is closed between roughly December 15 and April 10 each winter to protect it from icing damage.


  1. ^ "Tunneling Big Savage Mountain" (PDF). Allegheny Trail Alliance. Latrobe, PA. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  2. ^ Gibb, Tom (February 9, 2003). "Somerset's Big Savage Tunnel gets new life as bike trail". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  3. ^ "Western Maryland Railway Co. Track Chart: Connellsville to Cumberland, Baltimore, MD" (PDF). 1955.
  4. ^ Whetzel, Dan; Menchaca, Titos. "John Savage" (PDF). Retrieved April 29, 2009.
  5. ^ "Bicycling Big Savage Tunnel on the Great Allegheny Passage". Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011.

External links[edit]