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UP - Tunnel 18


West Portal Of Tunnel 18, Contextual View To East-Northeast, 135mm Lens

Photo taken by Ed Anderson for the Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #299128


MP154 - One Fine Day At Tunnel 18


Play video on YouTube


The Central Pacific First Transcontinental Railroad is a segment of the western half of the first transcontinental railroad, built from Sacramento, California to Promontory Summit, Utah between 1863 and 1869, where it joined the Union Pacific Railroad which had built west from Omaha. For the purpose of the current project, the first transcontinental railroad was found likely to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places at the national level of significance under Criterion A for its significance in transportation history, in uniting the East and the West, and in the development of the West. The railroad's period of significance is 1869 to 1945, from the line's completion in 1869, through the years of its role in the settlement and development of the West, to the conclusion of the railroad's achievements in World War II. Built in 1909, Tunnel 18 is a contributive element of this property.

Tunnel 18 is a 991-foot, double track railroad tunnel, with granite ashlar portal faces and wingwalls. As-built, the tunnel was concrete-lined for the first fifty feet in from each portal, with the remainder lined in redwood timber; the railroad has subsequently covered the timbering with shotcrete. The tunnel is on a tangent (no curves) alignment, and carries the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad's (formerly Southern Pacific, and originally Central Pacific) Donner Pass line.

-- Historic American Engineering Record


Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Placer County, California
Open to traffic
Built 1909
- Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR)
- Southern Pacific Railroad (SP)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Total length: 991.0 ft.
Also called
UP Newcastle Tunnel
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.87574, -121.12754   (decimal degrees)
38°52'33" N, 121°07'39" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/662429/4304653 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Gold Hill
Inventory number
BH 63428 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 8, 2014: New video from Dave King