4 votes

RI - Eugene Tunnel


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Photo taken by Nathan Morton

BH Photo #104827


Tunnel under a hill and MO 17 on the Rock Island Railroad at Eugene
Cole County, Missouri
Railroad line currently inactive
Built 1903
- Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP (1866-1920); RI (1920-1975) ROCK (1975-1980))
- St. Louis, Kansas City & Colorado Railway (StLKC&C)
Total length: 1,667.0 ft.
Also called
Rock Island Tunnel #3
Rock Island 1490
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.35212, -92.39670   (decimal degrees)
38°21'08" N, 92°23'48" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/552713/4245056 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 42 N., R. 13 W., Sec. 31
Inventory numbers
RI 1490 (Rhode Island bridge number)
BH 21319 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 27, 2018: Updated by John Marvig: Added category "Bore Tunnel"
  • April 20, 2016: Updated by Kelly McClanahan: Added category "Rock Island Rail Trail"
  • October 16, 2006: Posted photos from Nathan Morton


  • Nathan Morton - morton890 [at] yahoo [dot] com


RI - Eugene Tunnel
Posted December 30, 2018, by Sean (sean at normalfam [dot] com)

We walked through this the other day. Would be pretty cool if they turn it into a bike trail.


RI - Eugene Tunnel
Posted April 20, 2016, by Kelly McClanahan

Line is currently being converted to the MoRIT, Missouri Rock Island Trail. There was a report, that MU is doing something about using solar power to light the tunnels. Clearing and grubbing is underway and rails have been removed.

Jefferson City MO Tunnel
Posted April 23, 2014, by Chris (Hylander6 [at] aol [dot] com)

I am interested in a tunnel that is located on the east side of Jefferson City. The date above the enterence was 1932 (?) Its been a long time scense I was down there. The tunnel is located a little north of Algoa Rd near the Moreau river. It is not a long tunnel, just kinda weird that no one has mentioned it on this thread.

Eugene Tunnel
Posted September 11, 2009, by jack (jackkav [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

it needs to be reused because there have been lots of railroad bridges demolished so they need more railroad lines IT NEEDS TO BE REUSED!!!!

Eugene Tunnel
Posted April 7, 2009, by Max Johnson

In response to Kelly,

The line will be reopened in some parts, on April 3 2009, Missouri Govenor Jay Nixon announced the news in Pleasant Hill on that day.

The line will be part of the katy trail, and here is the story on it with a video


Eugene Tunnel
Posted March 1, 2008, by Mr. Kelly McClanahan (KMCCLA [at] aol [dot] com)

I have seen, (played), and walked parts of this line. It is extremely over grown, washouts, parts removed, and other things. All there is, is a right of way. I am from Missouri, when I see a train on that line, then and only then only then will I believe that is reopened. If the nations largest railroad, UP, decided that it is not worth the cost of reopening, I highly doubt it ever will. Do not get me wrong, I would love to see it reopened, but they have been talking about reopening it for close to 25-30 years now.

Eugene Tunnel
Posted January 8, 2008, by Steven Allen (spallen [at] fidnet [dot] com)

It would appear that Mr. McClanahan is probably wrong. The recent passage of the Rails AND Trails provisions of the AmerenUE settlement indicate serious interest in the re-establishment of through service. As fuel prices continue to mount, the economics make more sense, and the line is really in better shape than most folks seem to understand.

Eugene Tunnel
Posted March 18, 2007, by Kelly McClanahan (KMCCLA [at] aol [dot] com)

This is Tunnel 3 (of 4) on the old CRI&P line.

Eugene Tunnel
Posted December 19, 2006, by Al Bertram (abertram8297 [at] charter [dot] net)

I appreciated that update from Mr. McClanahan. You're right though. Railroads are so costly nowadays that you rarely ever hear of a line being built, except up near the Powder River coal fields in Wyoming. They're are trying to rehabilitate the old Milwaukee Road line across South Dakota through southern Minnesota, but the railroad involved wants such a hugh loan from the Federal government to do it that is seems likely it won't happen. I wasn't aware that UP or SP had looked into possibly rehabilitating that line as I didn't hear much from the St. Louis area, where I live. Thanks for the update.

Eugene Tunnel
Posted December 16, 2006, by Mr. Kelly McClanahan (KMCCLA [at] aol [dot] com)

There is good reason why the old CRI&P line is no longer in use, and why it was not ever reopened, or will be reopened. The biggest reason is money. I live in Raytown, on the west end of the line, and live not far from one of the other tunnels. The line's history is as follows -- it was completed in 1905, but the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific. When the CRI&P folded in 1980, the Kansas City/St. Louis line was bought by the SSW (St. Louis Southwestern, AKA Cotton Belt). At the time the SSW was part of the SP (Southern Pacific), and had track rights via the UP (Union Pacific). Since they had track rights, they did not need this line, which had already fallen into disrepair. About 1993, the SP took control, but again because of the deterioration of the line, they too decided not to reopen/use the line. In 1996 the UP took control with the merger of SP. The line was seriously looked into reopening, due to the 1993 floods. However, the cost of reopening the line exceeded the amount to justify it's use. In 1996 it cost about one million dollars per mile, just to lay new track, not counting everything else needed to bring it back into viability. (Today it could exceed well over 4-5 million per mile in total cost.) It was a few years later, the UP made a move to abandon the line, which was in turn bought by the MOC (Missouri Central), with the exception of the 13 miles into St. Louis, and the 30 some odd miles from Pleasant Hill to Kansas City, Missouri. Both of these "stubs" are still owned by the UP. Most of the old CRI&P line is now owned by the MOC, which is only a Class III railroad. Simply put, the line is now so far gone, it would be too expensive to ever reopen, all there is here is a right of way, nothing more.

Eugene Tunnel
Posted December 10, 2006, by Al Bertram (abertram8297 [at] charter [dot] net)

I was unaware that there were that many tunnels on the old Rock Island line. I also find it interesting that this line with most of its physical infastructure relatively intact sits idle. You would think that one of the major railroads crossing Missouri might be interested in using this line as an alternate for all of the heavy rail traffic going between Kansas City and St. Louis.