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Friday, March 25, 2022

Rockland Tunnel on the Allegheny Valley RR - Day 115

  Today, I joined a long section of rail trail in Pennsylvania on the former bed of the Allegheny Valley Railroad, built in the 1850s. It was taken over by Pennsylvania RR in 1913. (then ConRail, then abandoned) Allegheny Valley Rail Trail

There are a number of beautiful stone culverts on the line. There must have been two tracks which were not parallel everywhere because I was also standing on a rail berm where the trail is. stone railroad culvert

This mile marker says 102, but I'm not sure where it is measuring to. The historic AVR only went to Oil City, about 60 miles north, so it must be from the PRR era. I saw one other of these stone mile markers, but it was broken. stone railroad mile marker

The very best part of the walk today was through the 2868-foot (just over a half mile) Rockland Tunnel. The AVR wandered for four miles around the end of a long, narrow peninsula. It was often blocked by rock slides and ice, and it had too many sharp turns. The PRR immediately set about tunnelling through the hill to eliminate that loop. Rockland Tunnel

You can see that the tunnel is lined with brick. Rockland Tunnel

I believe these are safety alcoves where maintenance workers could crouch out of harm's way if a train came through. Rockland Tunnel safety alcoves

There was a surprising amount of ice still in the tunnel. Water drips from the ceiling. I actually tripped on one lump- no fall, but I sure was surprised. ice in Rockland Tunnel

There is a slight bend in the tunnel, so you don't see the end until you have traveled part way through. Rockland Tunnel

This was an incredibly cool experience! And there is an even longer tunnel tomorrow. This is all new trail to me, since the rail trail was not part of the NCT when I hiked here before (although a did a tiny bit of this a few years ago)

Miles today: 16.7. Total miles so far: 1515.

See The Magic Continues


Sue Teeters said...

Great day, it sounds like. To me, walking through a tunnel that long would be very spooky! Hope you had a good flashlight!

Trudy S said...

Wow thos are cool pictures. I wish I could drive up and join you a little tomorrow. But i am on baby duty. 😊 happy hiking my new friend

Ann said...

That would be cool walking through there. I would hate to be in the middle and have my flashlight give out.

The Furry Gnome said...

Where have all your pictures gone? Sounds very interesting, but I'm not getting any pictures.

Sharkbytes said...

Sue- Not spooky at all- just exciting

Trudy- the boys would love the tunnels

Ann- it doesn't take that long to walk a half mile!

Stu- I don't know... Some people are having trouble with the pictures, and I've changed nothing.

Unknown said...

What a cool tunnel! Glad the surprise ice didn't land you on the ground. April