No votes cast

UP - Natron Cutoff Tunnel 5


West Portal Of The Mudshed Abutting The West Portal Of Tunnel 5, View To The Northwest, 135mm Lens. The Flat-Roofed Reinforced Concrete Mudsheds, Rocksheds, And Snowsheds Are A Common Feature Of The Natron Cutoff Over The Summit Of The Cascades. With

Photo taken for the Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #300756



The Southern Pacific Railroad Cascade Route, built as the Natron Cutoff between Black Butte, California and Natron, Oregon was one of a series of major rebuildings and realignments of the original Central Pacific Railroad. Begun in 1905 under railroad magnate E.H. Harriman to replace the original Central Pacific route over the Siskiyou Mountains into Oregon, the Natron Cutoff had to overcome both natural and political obstacles. Stalled by government anti-trust lawsuits against Harriman, by World War I and the ensuing federal takeover of the nation's railroads, the Natron Cutoff finally overcame the rugged Cascade Mountains of Oregon to reach completion in 1927, at an ultimate cost of nearly $40 million. For the purpose of the current project, the Natron Cutoff was found likely to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places at the state level of significance under Criterion A for its significance in engineering, transportation history, and the economic history of central Oregon, and in the development of the West, and under criterion B for its association with E.H. Harriman. The Natron Cutoff's period of significance is 1905 to 1945, from the beginning of construction in 1905, through the years of its role in the economic development of the central Oregon, to the conclusion of the railroad's achievements in World War II. Built in 1927, Tunnel 5 is a contributive element of this property.

Tunnel 5 is a 964-foot, single track concrete-lined railroad tunnel, with concrete portal faces, and with an approximately 800-foot reinforced concrete mudshed abutting its west portal. The tunnel is on a curved alignment, and carries the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad's (formerly Southern Pacific) Cascade Route line through a projecting point of a ridge on a steep slope above the waters of Salt Creek in Willamette National Forest at an elevation of 4,200 feet.

-- Historic American Engineering Record


Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Lane County, Oregon
Open to traffic
Built 1927
- Henry & McFee
- Southern Pacific Railroad (SP)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Total length: 964.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.62538, -122.16275   (decimal degrees)
43°37'31" N, 122°09'46" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/567547/4830606 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
McCredie Springs
4200 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 63556 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 18, 2019: Updated by Ian Martin: fixed GPS coordinates
  • October 11, 2014: Added by Dave King


  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • HAER OR-93 - Southern Pacific Railroad Natron Cutoff, Tunnel 5, Milepost 545.2, McCredie Springs, Lane County, OR
  • Ian Martin


UP - Natron Cutoff Tunnel 5
Posted March 12, 2019, by Justin

And yet you've failed to give us the actual GPS, just a foamer whinging.

UP - Natron Cutoff Tunnel 5
Posted March 12, 2019, by Jim Reed (jimr4163 [at] comcast [dot] net)

The location, gps, etc for this tunnel are completely wrong. It is on the wrong side of Hwy 58, and should be up above McCredie Springs, and Judd Mountain. Between tunnels 6 and 4. This is so wrong.