Photo taken by Joshua Collins in November 2009
BH Photo #149650
Here is a picture of the Vale Tunnel about 1 year after the trail opening.
Looking north. The trail is finished from the tunnel into Lee's Summit.
Work has progressed. Old line is being converted into a rail trail. For the first time in years it can be seen from 98th Street. Reports have the tunnel still in fairly good condition. First section of trail is supposed to be open by fall of 2018.
As of late September 2016 there has been machinery used to cut a path on the west edge of the rail bed. You can now walk along the track although it's still rough with badly chewed up stumps and shredded wood.
At this time the tunnel is un accessible, there is simply too much over growth. When I last drove by the crossing to the south, I could barely even make out the tracks. However, the line is now owed by Jackson County, which intends on turning it into part of the Missouri Rock Island Trail. The line soon will be cleared and grubbed, and then the tunnel will be able to be seen once again.
I think that this is a photo of the Vale tunnel back in 1914..I think this is the tunnel because grandfather worked for the Rock Island RR and they were living at Vale where this photo was taken. He was a foreman.
The engraving on the south side of the tunnel read as: TUNNEL NO. 4 1903-4
I'm not sure how much of the trailwork is done, but Ameren filed with the surface transportaion commitee to "abandon" some of the line, to allow the state to build the trail directly in place of the rail line just as the Katy was done. This is the nail in the coffin to the rail line. There is a presentation detailing the trail at:
The tunnel was built
1904-1906. It took so long because they had 1 labour strike that delayed constution 6 months.
The Katy Trail Extension will not necessarily go through the tunnel. The extension is only funded from Windsor to Pleasant Hill. Also, Ameren, the company that owns the abandoned RI right of way, has reserved the option of reestablishing rail service on the line. That means the trail will run alongside the old roadbed, not on top of it as elswhere on the Katy Trail. Since the tunnel is not wide enough to accomodate both the tracks and the trail, the trail will have to go up and over the hill, instead of tunneling through it.
March 31st, 1980, last Rock Island Railroad train in use, this line and many others abandoned.
Well, this one sees new hope.
Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri, has begun the process of rebuilding this line in a Katy trail extension, a video of the story can be seen here
So, new hope and the line will come back to life!
They have said it will take five years to complete, but it will be done.
Tunnel 4 (of 4) on the old CRI&P line. Access is farily easy. Tunnel goes under Bannister Rd (Kansas City, Mo) just west of Nortfleet Rd. Take Nortfleet (south) to end of paved road (it turns into 98th).