1 vote

UP - Tunnel 1


West Portal Of Tunnel 1, Contextual View To North, 135mm Lens. The Central Pacific Originally Built Tunnel 1 In 1868; Southern Pacific Widened It In 1913 To Accommodate Both The Original And New Mainline As It Continued Its Double-Tracking Efforts Ea

Photo taken by Ed Anderson for the Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #299197


The Central Pacific First Transcontinental Railroad is a segment of the western half of the first transcontinental railroad, built from Sacramento, California to Promontory Summit, Utah between 1863 and 1869, where it joined the Union Pacific Railroad which had built west from Omaha. For the purpose of the current project, the first transcontinental railroad was found likely to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places at the national level of significance under Criterion A for its significance in transportation history, in uniting the East and the West, and in the development of the West. The railroad's period of significance is 1869 to 1945, from the line's completion in 1869, through the years of its role in the settlement and development of the West, to the conclusion of the railroad's achievements in World War II. Tunnel 1 is a contributive element of this historic property.

Tunnel 1 is a 518-foot, double track railroad tunnel, with reinforced concrete portal faces and granite ashlar voussoirs, belt courses and coping, and wingwalls. As-built in 1868 by the Central Pacific, the tunnel was a single track structure, with timbered approaches. The tunnel is on a right-hand curved alignment varying from eight degrees, thirty-four minutes to eight degrees, fifty minutes, and carries the tracks of the Union Pacific Railroad's (formerly Southern Pacific) Donner Pass line.

-- Historic American Engineering Record


Tunnel on Union Pacific Railroad
Placer County, California
Open to traffic
Built 1868
- Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR)
- Southern Pacific Railroad (SP)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Total length: 518.0 ft.
Also called
Grizzly Hill Tunnel
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.24771, -120.72353   (decimal degrees)
39°14'52" N, 120°43'25" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/696444/4346735 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 63438 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 14, 2019: New photo from James Stinson
  • October 9, 2014: Added by Dave King


  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • HAER CA-207 - Central Pacific Transcontinental Railroad, Tunnel No. 1, Milepost 164.34, Blue Canyon, Placer County, CA
  • James Stinson