3 votes

MoPac - East Barretts Tunnel


East Portal

Feb. 4. 1972

Photo taken by W. L. Hoss

BH Photo #195498



According to National Historical Site Descriptive Documents (Dated Sept. 1977): "The East Tunnel penetrates solid limestone and has not required the elaborate reinforcement and portals of the west tunnel. Its appearance is more that of a mine shaft than a railroad tunnel. The track was removed in 1944, and there is standing water inside. The tunnel is bell-shaped--18' wide at the bottom, 14' wide at the top, and 18' in height from floor to ceiling. It has eroded from its original length of 630 feet to its present 587 1/2 feet. The grade of the tunnel is between 0.81% and 0.87% ascending eastbound."


Sometime since the publication of this document, the western portal has been filled in and re-sculpted into the landscape.

**This was the first railroad tunnel constructed west of the Mississippi River**


Lost Tunnel on Missouri Pacific Railroad
Kirkwood, St. Louis County, Missouri
Tunnel demolished in 2000's
Built 1851-1853; Abandoned 1944
- James P. Kirkwood (Designer)
- Missouri Pacific Railroad (MP; MoPac)
The tunnel was bell-shaped--18' wide at the bottom, 14' wide at the top, and 18' in height from floor to ceiling, and was originally 630 feet long. The grade of the tunnel was between 0.81% and 0.87% ascending eastbound.
Total length: 630.0 ft.
Deck width: 18.0 ft.
Vertical clearance above deck: 18.0 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.57255, -90.45483   (decimal degrees)
38°34'21" N, 90°27'17" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/721726/4272415 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 48451 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 19, 2011: Added by Brian Parkinson

Related Bridges 


  • Brian Parkinson - railstoruin [at] yahoo [dot] com


MoPac - East Barretts Tunnel
Posted December 8, 2019, by Mike (russells1985 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I found the east portal of this tunnel on 11/20/19 exactly where it is shown on map. It is still intact. See picture.

East Barretts Tunnel
Posted May 5, 2013, by Ian J (icjohnstone [at] ymail [dot] com)

Where is it today? Kinda hard to spot it or see signs/evidence or clues to where it was.