While searching for something else, I ran across this notice on the NS web site.  Apparently this tunnel is located:

"Following is an update on the Hoosac Tunnel service disruption on Norfolk Southern’s partner line, Pan Am Southern, which affects all trains operating between Mechanicville, New York, and Ayer, Massachusetts. "

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A wall partially collapsed in the tunnel, I would hazard a guess water seeped through, froze and melted, and weakened the wall or ceiling, causing the collapse. One article I read say they might literally 'pull back' the roof of the tunnel in the collapsed section, though from the pictures I have seen of that tunnel that seems pretty hard to imagine doing. 

Thanks for the link, I must have not spelled it correctly in my search.  Had no idea what a marvel it has been since way back. Interesting facts from ASCE here.

This happened over a month ago- did not see any estimates of completion, Hmmm.  One comment in an article mentioned it had been discussed to "daylight" the first several hundred yards.  

 I read that a creek on the mountainside above the tunnel found a course through the rock and into the tunnel and that the first task was re-routing said creek.



Several hundred feet at the West end of the tunnel (North Adams, Ma) is actually loose rock backfilled onto the brick tunnel lining between the lining and the fractured limestone country rock. There has been discussion of  daylighting the West end of the tunnel.


Last edited by geysergazer
hokie71 posted:

Had no idea what a marvel it has been since way back. Interesting facts from ASCE here.

A bit shocking to read that 200 men died during the construction of the tunnel. They need to keep that tunnel open as a memorial!

Right on about the number of deaths and a memorial.   I was also blown away on the number of bricks used.  I think this is the "Harry Potter" bridge and they used 30 million for it.  Per the ASCE article, 20 million were used in the tunnel

Welland Viaduct - geograph.org.uk - 227788.jpg


Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER

Since NS trains are detoured through VT and CSX (old B&A).  They should take the opportunity to raise the roof of that tunnel to allow double stacks

Hokie71, that is not the viaduct used in Harry Potter.  The viaduct in Harry Potter is the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland.R1-19R1-15

These photos are from 2008.  I sure hope they don't daylight the west end of Hoosac, I have great memories and photos of train watching there. None of my photos are digitized though.




Images (2)
Last edited by Ross

Bingo and quite the foresight of Superwarp1 !!  Way to think outside the box...er...tunnel.  I agree that if the plans are to daylight a large portion of said tunnel, then why not  totally "modernize" it?  If funds allow it, and even if it gets expensive, it seems the additional material passing through the tunnel would be a benefit in several ways.

The Hoosac Tunnel reopened on 4/4/20. Video of the first train at the East Portal:


That was day before yesterday and I heard the train ( here in North Adams) but thought it another local as there have been several during the shutdown.

A long Eastbound just rolled up the valley headed for the West Portal so it looks like a slow resumption of traffic.

It would be very interesting to know what they did to remedy/patch the sinkhole. Did anyone hear anything about the nature of the reconstruction? I also wonder what, if anything, had to be done to the tunnel itself to fix any damage.

Thanks for the update. Whatever they did took less than two months. I did not find any more repair videos on YouTube, 

This announcement was put up on the NS website on April 5:

 The Hoosac Tunnel, on Norfolk Southern’s partner line, Pan Am Southern, which affects all trains operating between Mechanicville, New York, and Ayer, Massachusetts, was restored to service last night, Saturday, April 4. There will be some ongoing engineering work consisting of 12-hour outages for the month of April which could cause delay to some shipments.

This pic is from the NS website as well:


With the caption:

First Norfolk Southern train traveling through the Hoosac Tunnel, North Adams, Massachusetts.

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