Rating:
3 votes

Moonville Rail Trail - Moonville Tunnel

Photos 

BH Photo #182508

Map 

Description 

Approach bridge over Raccoon Creek was removed, piers remain. Tunnel is open for pedestrians as part of Zaleski State Forest.

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned tunnel with approach that crosses Raccoon Creek on CSX line between Cumberland, Maryland and Cincinnati
Location
Vinton County, Ohio
Status
Abandoned, but used by pedestrians
Future prospects
Rumors of becoming a trail for the Zaleski State Forest
History
Built 1857 and abandoned in 1989
Railroads
- Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O; BO)
- CSX Railroad (CSX)
- Chessie System
- Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad (M&C)
- Marietta, Columbus & Cleveland Railroad (MC&C)
- Rail-to-trail
Design
Small bore tunnel
Dimensions
Total length: 100.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.30730, -82.32242   (decimal degrees)
39°18'26" N, 82°19'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/385983/4351713 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Mineral
Inventory number
BH 46505 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 5, 2017: Photo imported by Brandon Cooper
  • June 29, 2013: New photos from Doug Chapman
  • August 9, 2012: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Added category "Railroad"
  • July 13, 2011: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Updated history
  • December 9, 2010: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Updated design description
  • October 27, 2010: Updated by Eric Root: Corrected to description to state Zaleski State Forest
  • October 15, 2010: Added by Eric Root

Sources 

  • Eric Root - ejort [at] att [dot] net
  • Daniel Hopkins - chimera [at] clovermail [dot] net
  • Doug Chapman

Comments 

Moonville Rail Trail - Moonville Tunnel
Posted October 5, 2016, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)
Moonville Rail Trail - Moonville Tunnel
Posted July 10, 2016, by Don Morrison

While I have no idea about the intent of the earlier post, or the content of the linked "thrillseekingbehavior", it seems that they are wanting to install a recycled iron bridge on the path to this tunnel.

Here's a link to the July 2015 newsletter mentioned in that post:

http://www.moonvillerailtrail.com/july2015update.pdf

The former road bridge should be in place by the end of summer:

http://www.vintoncourier.com/news/moonville-bridge-trail-pro...

We'll have to figure out where the bridge came from....

here's the facebook page;

https://www.facebook.com/MoonvilleRailTrail/

Moonville Rail Trail - Moonville Train Bridge
Posted July 9, 2016, by Spooky (Spooky [dot] strangechild [at] gmail [dot] com)

Has the iron crossing been added to the pylons next to the tunnel? The conservation group for the site put out a newsletter in 2015 saying it was in the works. I wrote about it here:

https://thrillseekingbehavior.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/moonv...

The post has all the relevant links I found.

Moonville Tunnel
Posted February 6, 2013, by Doug Chapman (upsers59 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I just posted the Kings Hollow Tunnel on the Athens county page which is on the same abandoned CSX line to the east of the Moonville Tunnel.Seems odd the Moonville was built in 1857 and the Kings Hollow in 1855.

Moonville Tunnel
Posted February 23, 2011, by Daniel Hopkins (chimera [at] clovermail [dot] net)

One final note, the tunnel is reputed to be haunted by no less then 3 spirits.

Moonville Tunnel
Posted December 15, 2010, by Eric Root (ejort [at] att [dot] net)

Compare to the still in use cambridge tunnel:

http://bridgehunter.com/oh/guernsey/cambridge-tunnel/

Moonville Tunnel - The Sordid History (abridged)
Posted October 28, 2010, by Daniel Hopkins (chimera [at] clovermail [dot] net)

Moonville Tunnel is a good example of historical places nearly lost to history herself.

Moonville is also the name of a tiny, now ghost-town made up of shambled remains of a post office and old station platform beams. The tunnel was "born" when the Marietta and Cincinnati railroad was built through the coal-and iron-rich woods of southeastern Ohio in 1856. At its peak in the 1870s, the town boasted a population of more than 100--almost exclusively miners and their families. There was a row of houses along the railroad tracks, a sawmill just down Raccoon Creek (which can still be seen today although now mostly its just foundation), a general store, and a saloon. In its early days the residents of Moonville worked in the Hope Furnace nearby, but later on they turned almost exclusively to mining coal underground. The coal was then used in the many iron furnaces in the vicinity, usually the one at Hope, where weapons and artillery for the Union Army were made during the Civil War and later farming implements were crafted prior to the industrial revolution.

During the mid-1940's the Marietta & Cincinnati Railroad was bought up Baltimore & Ohio where it was used during World War II as a transit to the east coast. The rails became more disused as the century wound onwards until early 1970 when it became apart of CSX, whom frowned on the little line and eventually decommissioned it in the late 1980's.

During the mid-to-late 1990's the rails were ripped up, the last known date for the rails going through the tunnel was Spring of 1997, shortly thereafter the rails were ripped up followed by the trestle bridges.

In early 2000 a bid was made for the Tunnel by several Rail-to-Trail conservation groups but Vinton County refused to sell the rights to the land in some false hope that CSX would want to use it again; currently the line has gone unused and unseen for nearly 20+ years.

[[History sources - Forgotten Ohio, Ohio Resource Center of History, pictures credited to Forgotten Ohio]]

Moonville Tunnel
Posted October 27, 2010, by Anonymous

The Moonville Tunnel is actually located in the Zaleski State Forest rather than the Wayne. The tunnel and old railroad right-of-way are now owned by the Vinton County Commissioners and are part of a rail trail effort. There's an organization called the Moonville Rail Trail Association working to replace all those old railroad bridges and to open the trail to muscle powered travel. Thanks for visiting our community!