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WM - Indigo Tunnel

Photos 

Photo taken by Greg Hall

Enlarge

BH Photo #220743

Map 

Description 

Gated off to protect the state's largest bat refuge.

Facts 

Overview
Tunnel on the Western Maryland Railroad
Location
Allegany County, Maryland
Status
Gated off
History
Rail line abandoned in 1975
Railroads
- Chessie System Railroads (CSRR)
- Western Maryland Railway (WM)
Design
Tunnel
Dimensions
Total length: 4,350.0 ft. (0.8 mi.)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.63593, -78.36686   (decimal degrees)
39°38'09" N, 78°22'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/725967/4390663 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Bellegrove
Elevation
700 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 49287 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 12, 2020: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • January 5, 2015: Updated by Luke: Noted reason for the tunnel being gated.
  • August 5, 2011: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Updated status, this tunnel is closed and has a gate up on both ends.
  • August 4, 2011: New photo from Luke Harden
  • August 4, 2011: Added by Greg Hall

Sources 

  • Greg Hall - cyclebay [at] aol [dot] com
  • Luke
  • Daniel Hopkins - chimera [at] clovermail [dot] net
  • The Wash Cycle - Info
  • Geoff Hubbs

Comments 

Indigo Tunnel
Posted August 4, 2011, by Greg Hall (cyclebay [at] aol [dot] com)

West end of Indigo Tunnel. Tunnel served the Western Maryland Railroad until it ceased to exist, though it operated under differnt names as a result of buyouts/mergers. Bill Schoenadel, local historian and owner of "Bill's Place" tells the following story. "there was an outhouse at each end of the tunnel and a railroad employee man would sit in one until the train passed, then he walked through the tunnel to inspect for rock falls and debris, only to sit in the other outhouse until the next train came from the other way, then to repeat his actions." This tunnel appears to be slightly different than other's I have seen, as it is rough inside with a wooden series of arches, with boards on top of them, then the board spacing becomes farther and farther and the boards lever out on the sides as shutters. Along with the story that Bill tells, I assume that this tunnel had a particular issue with things falling from the top, the board "liner" was intended to hopefully deflect these things and keep them from damaging a train, as the wood does not appear to actually offer any support for the tunnel. According to Bill, the steel gate had been added only a couple of weeks prior to our visit (another is at the other end), and that these had been added to protect a rare species of bats that were found to be living inside the tunnel. The gates allegedly still allow them to come in and out for food. This tunel sits at the bottom of a pretty steep (for a train) hill.

Webmaster's note: The photo that was here has been incorporated into the main site.