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Western Railroad Discussion > Help - UP Tunnel in Eastern Oregon

Date: 04/24/12 22:11
Help - UP Tunnel in Eastern Oregon
Author: yorknl

Hi. A friend of mine at work recently drove I-84 across eastern Oregon on the way from Seattle to Utah, and noticed the UP tunnel(s) visible in this view, looking to the east:


Location is a bit east of the exit for Weatherby, OR, which is at milepost 335 on the freeway. Exact location is visible in this top view:


My friend noted that the active tunnel has a 1929 date on it, which may or may not be relevant. Here's the issue: the older tunnel to the north of the newer one appears to only have one portal - there's no trace of another one where the freeway leaves the cut. Does anyone know if there's an interesting (or boring) story about the history of this site? I wonder, from the angle of the old portal relative to the freeway, if construction of said freeway (or predecessor highway) put the location of the other portal inside a highway embankment and was thus filled in (and required construction of the newer bore). Just curious if anyone is familiar with the site and may know about possible line relocations. Thanks!

(Google links seem to work for me in Firefox - hopefully they also work for other browsers out there.)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/12 22:22 by yorknl.

Date: 04/24/12 23:27
Re: Help - UP Tunnel in Eastern Oregon
Author: mapboy

Per the 2009 UP track chart, this is at MP 378.77 of the Huntington Sub. The bridge is over the Burnt River, and the active tunnel is Tunnel #6, 518' long and as mentioned, built in 1929. Regarded the inactive tunnel, a note on the chart says, all in caps, "MP 378.77 SHOOFLY TUNNEL CONSTR 1928-591 FT LONG TO ALLOW FOR RELINING OF TUNNEL NO. 6 50 FT.NORTH." So the inactive tunnel was used temporarily while Tunnel #6 was relined. I looked at a topo map- it only shows the active tunnel. Here's the Google Street View of the other side of the tunnel- http://g.co/maps/yrgs2 I don't see any sign of the portal or the temporary fill that the shoofly was on.


Date: 04/25/12 06:20
Re: Help - UP Tunnel in Eastern Oregon
Author: yorknl

Thank you, Mapboy. Looks like I shouldn't have assumed anything about which bore is older.

I still have to wonder - with not a hint of proof, obviously - if the east end of the tunnel, and also the fill for the shoo-fly, wound up obliterated by highway construction. The cut for the freeway appears to be fairly substantial.

Neil York
Kent, Washington

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/12 06:25 by yorknl.

Date: 04/25/12 08:41
Re: Help - UP Tunnel in Eastern Oregon
Author: mapboy

Shoofly tunnels are fairly rare. Who would expect it?


Date: 04/25/12 22:23
Re: Help - UP Tunnel in Eastern Oregon
Author: slagg

I remember that the east end of the shoofly tunnel was visible before the freeway was built. Used to drive old Highway 30 with my parents a couple of times a year. Don't remember the fill for the shoofly, though.

Joel Slagg
Boise, ID

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