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KmH

What Happened to #9 & #28 Moffat Tunnel subs?

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It's said the UP Moffat Tunnel sub has 28 tunnels east of the Moffat Tunnel.

The west most and closest tunnel to the Moffat Tunnel East portal tunnel is tunnel #30.

 

Curious about the discrepancy I got to looking at that sub using OpenRailwayMap and Google Maps.

Neither map shows a #9 nor #28 tunnel, which verifies there are just 28 tunnels regardless the tunnel numbering.

Did those 2 tunnel exist back in the day, or did whoever just goof the numbering back when?

Edited by KmH

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The Open Railway Map tunnel numbers going westbound from Denver show no tunnel between tunnel 8 and tunnel 10. Looking at that area using Goggle Earth imagery shows a 250 yard long area of bare earth beside the track which may be the vestige of tunnel 9 bulldozed down the slope. A little farther West the Open Railway Map shows tunnels 16 and 17 but Google Earth shows another patch of bare ground which may where the last missing tunnel (tunnel 16½?) was located. A more likely candidate for the second missing tunnel (and in keeping with the numbering system) lies about 200 yards West of tunnel 27 where a short 30 yard bare spot seen on Google Earth may be what's left of a very short tunnel or land bridge.

 

My counts of the tunnels East of the Moffat also show 28 tunnels using the scrollable topographic maps here... http://www.mytopo.com/maps/ ....as well as Google Earth satellite imagery.

 

A search of the Historical Maps section of the USGS might allow you to find a series of maps in which the those two tunnels disappear between map updates. Maybe.

Edited by niemi24s

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That explanation seems the most likely.

 

Although the tracks between ALB and NYP are double tracked, there is at one point a tunnel on one track while the other track goes thru a cut in the mountain. So would that be listed as Tunnel XX 1/2?:huh:

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FWIW, I've seen evidence of another place where short tunnels have been eliminated by the railroads by apparently turning a tunnel into a cut. It's on CSX's Blue Ridge Subdivision, just south of Spruce Pine NC. It can be seen by comparing this older USGS topographic map to Google Earth or the most recent USGS map:

 

post-9586-0-87710200-1512620753_thumb.jpg

 

As I recall, the 4 tunnels on the right hand side of that original cluster of 18 tunnels have been eliminated - not by rerouting the track but by turning the tunnel into a cut.

Edited by niemi24s

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I saw the debris fields that may be evidence of where tunnels #9 & #28, likely both quite short tunnels if they existed, may have been back in the day.

 

I appreciate too that the OpenRailwayMap shows the route (with up to 4% grades) taken OVER the Continental Divide before the Moffatt Tunnel was made.

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Current topographic maps and Google Earth only give hints of the original route replaced by the Moffat Tunnel. But if you go back a few years in the USGS Historic Map Files you can find one that shows both the original route and the tunnel that replaced it:

 

post-9586-0-30416000-1512624028_thumb.jpg

 

 

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