The Tunnel is a new 35-minute documentary film about the creation and the re-creation of the Blue Ridge Railroad Tunnel. In the 1850s, Irish immigrants dug this nearly mile-long tunnel. Many of them were maimed or even died. The story also examines the role of enslaved Black railroad workers. In 1944 the tunnel was closed. But in 2020, it was re-opened to the public as a remarkable historic site and tourist attraction.
The Blue Ridge tunnel was the longest tunnel in the United States upon completion. It is also the first tunnel in the U.S. driven without vertical shafts. / The Blue Ridge Railroad, 17 miles in length, originally connected the terminus of the Louisa Railroad near Blair Park with the town of Waynesboro.
-- Historic American Engineering Record
The tunnel has now been reopened as a trail for pedestrians. It passes under Rockfish Gap, Appalachian Trail, US-250, I-64, and Skyline Drive.
The parallel replacement tunnel, built in 1944, carries CSX and Amtrak trains today.