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UP - Alto Arch


Alto Tunnel

Photo taken by Richard Doody in 1995


BH Photo #421237


Street View 


The O.W.R.&N.’s line connecting Riparia with the Walla Walla valley followed a torturous route. The grades on Alto Hill exceeded 3%. Half way up the slope helper engines were added to trains at a stop named “Relief”. McKay Hollow on the south side of the hill was bridged by a looping wooden trestle, a quarter mile long and 97 feet high. The trestle collapsed during a derailment in 1894, was rebuilt and stood until 1917. An earthfill embankment replaced it. The fill’s level profile is easily discernible among the undulating hills. Its enormous size can be gauged against the dimensions of the road tunnel that pierces its base. The tunnel has a clearance of 15 feet and is 150 in length. Strangely, the railroad constructed the fill after the mainline was routed off this section following completion of the Joso Bridge.

The Alto Hill line was abandoned in 1946.


Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Stonecipher Road on Union Pacific Railroad
Columbia County, Washington
Open to road traffic; Railway abandoned 1946
Built 1917
- Oregon-Washington Railroad & Navigation Co. (OWR&N)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Closed-spandrel arch
Approximate latitude, longitude
+46.37014, -118.12015   (decimal degrees)
46°22'13" N, 118°07'13" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
11/413844/5135783 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 81038 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 20, 2018: New Street View added by Luke
  • April 20, 2018: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical data to description
  • April 5, 2018: Added by Richard Doody


  • Richard Doody
  • Luke