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St. Louis Freight Tunnel

Photos 

Inside West Portal

Photo taken by Nathan Morton in May 2009

Enlarge

BH Photo #140105

Map 

Description 

The last train to use this tunnel was in 1974 (by Amtrak) and the rails were later removed. Rehabilitation began in 1991 and the tunnel was modified in four places to add MetroLink stations (two underground). During MetroLink construction in 1992, part of the tunnel collapsed underneath North Broadway and Washington Avenue.

Facts 

Overview
Tunnel under downtown on the MetroLink in St. Louis
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
Status
Open to two tracks of MetroLink light rail service with bypass to original freight alignment
History
Built in 1875 along with the completion of Eads Bridge as a route to Union Station. Later used as a freight route as passenger trains bypassed the tunnel for Merchants and MacArthur Bridges.
Railroads
- Amtrak (AMTK)
- MetroLink (BSDA)
- Rapid Transit
Design
The tunnel stretches from the Laclede's Landing at the west approach of Eads Bridge to Busch Stadium, running underneath (primarily) 8th Street and Washington Avenues in Downtown St. Louis. It is constructed mostly of Aux Vases sandstone (foundations) and brick barrel vaults.
Dimensions
Total length: 4,880.0 ft. (0.9 mi.)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.62380, -90.19444   (decimal degrees)
38°37'26" N, 90°11'40" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/744241/4278765 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Cahokia
Inventory number
BH 42547 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

19th Century (6,880)
Amtrak (468)
Bore Tunnel (276)
Built 1875 (102)
Built during 1870s (996)
Cut-And-Cover Tunnel (34)
MetroLink (16)
Missouri (6,135)
Open (38,205)
Owned privately (1,499)
Railroad (14,361)
Rapid Transit (110)
St. Louis, Missouri (145)
TRRA (1)
Total length over 2500 feet (818)
Tunnel (1,090)

Update Log 

  • July 28, 2019: Updated by Luke: Added category "Cut-And-Cover Tunnel" for the station portion
  • July 28, 2019: New photos from Geoff Hubbs
  • January 28, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "MetroLink"
  • February 7, 2011: New photos from Mark Dellbringge
  • August 13, 2010: Updated by Mark Dellbringge: Added description
  • May 10, 2009: Added by Nathan Morton

Sources 

  • Nathan Morton - morton890 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Mark Dellbringge
  • Geoff Hubbs

Comments 

St. Louis Freight Tunnel
Posted July 9, 2009, by Mark Dellbringge

The last Amtrak train to use this tunnel was in 1974, then tunnel was abandoned, and the rails later removed. Tunnel was refurbished and renovated in the early 1990's to prepare it for operation of St. Louis' light rail transit system, MetroLink.