I hereby deem any picture from 1819 - 1885 "construction era". The oldest
pictures are from 1866 at the earliest. All of these are at or near the the East
stereograph view from the 1870s showing the East Portal camp. Notice the houses
on the hill, the Blacksmith shop at the "false start", and the alignment tower
positioned in front of the portal.
rendition of the East Portal, 1869 or 1870 most likely.
picture from 1870 shows a mule carting out refuse rock from the East Portal.
This rock will be dumped along the banks of the Deerfield for future use in the
railroad trestle approach.
the East Portal. Date unknown.
used to pull spoilage out of the bore. This locomotive was purchased in late
1870, so the picture is probably from between 1871-1873.
Workers shack a few feet north of the East Portal.
is an interesting picture! In the foreground is the managers office (octagonal
building). To the left you see the corner of the Compressor Building. Notice the
1 track width first generation bridge and the grade built on top of the
spoilage. If you look in the background you can see part of the east village.
picture depicts some folks of importance! Notice their dressing is obviously not
like that of a miner! I am not sure who these people are, but the picture is
taken post 1870.
the bridge over the Deerfield about 1 mile south of the East portal as seen in
the 1870s. The view is from the railroad tracks looking into Florida Ma. This is
where the "rickety" Tunnel road bridge is presently. Obviously there were many
more buildings there than there are now!
of the miners, and some of their children, taken sometime after 1870. Notice the
pipes the children are sitting on top of. I believe these to be the pipes used
for bringing in compressed air to the heading for the drills. Judging by the
buildings this is probably a late era picture, maybe as late as 1872.
picture is profound and unique. Why? Because this shows storm doors on the east
portal. Now you can settle those arguments with all your friends! This picture
dispels many myths (both spoken and published!) This picture is from 1885 and
you can be sure that these storm doors did not last long as I would wager they
were found to be unnecessary.
picture showing the Hoosac House and Depot as seen from the Florida side of the
river. None of the buildings remain, the cellar hole of the building in the
foreground still remains however.
The Hoosac Tunnel Station was located at the end point for the Hoosac Tunnel
& Wilmington RR. This is where passengers and freight changed trains. Its
location was on the Rowe side of the river at what is now known as the Soapstone Siding. It
is still accessible now on Tunnel Road in Rowe, but the building is long gone.
Hoosac Tunnel Station where the present day Soapstone Siding is. This picture is
really remarkable because among other things you can actually see the
advertisements on the side of the building. The rails on the back side of the
station are from the Hoosac Tunnel & Wilmington RR which was a narrow gauge
railroad that originally went all the way to Wilmington VT but gradually got
shortened, first by Harriman Reservoir, then by Yankee Atomic, and finally by
Bear Swamp Hydroelectric.
picture of the Hoosac Tunnel station in Rowe. This time you can see a train on
the HT&W tracks. Notice the cart in front of the station, this was used to cart
goods between HT&W trains and Mainline B&M cars.
steamer pulling by the Hoosac Tunnel station in Rowe.
The "False Start" is the large hole built from the highly unsuccessful
"Wilsonís Patented Stone-Cutting Machine" as you can see its still there and
picture was taken inside the "false start" room. you can see the roof is supported
by several portions of old railroad track. To the right you can see a large rusting
tank. Any wall that isn't stone in here is brick.
picture was taken above the entry way to the brick room. You can see the old
curvature from the stone cutter's blade here.
is an picture of the "false start" from the mid 1900s.
A picture from Fall
2000 showing the location of the "false start".
picture was taken inside the little room made from the old "false start" you can
see the cut marks from the giant rotating blade made in 1854.
If you look
closely you can see the curvature from the old round blade on the rock wall.
Postcards of the Hoosac Tunnel were popular in the day (and popular for
collectors now). You can still find them on
eBay pretty easily. There are a lot and I mean a lot of these floating
around. So many that I didn't even scan all the ones made available to me
because they were so similar.
image is probably from the early 1900s, but after 1911 (catenary wires were a
dead give away). Notice the fence to the left. There are equivalent fences north
of the portal on the hill that are still there today. Also notice the lack of
image of the East Portal. Not sure of the date, probably between 1946 (removal
of catenary wires) and 1957 (Single track).
between 1911 and 1946. Those transmission lines seen on the left are still there
believe it or not, however they are completely grown in.
picture from above excepted doctored by a sneaky artist for a postcard. Why is
there a steam engine going through when we have catenary wires for electric
trains? The artist definitely flexed his "creative license" muscle.
from 1910 depicting where the B&M line and Hoosac Tunnel & Wilmington line meet.
postcard of the East Portal sometime after 1911. The two people really put the
size of the bore into perspective.
is a postcard with an electric engine about to pull a steamer into the East
Portal, an interesting angle.
postcard shows what I believe is a water tower for the steam trains, as well as
a long since gone rail siding on the north side of the trail. This postcard is
likely form the 1910s.
postcard gives a nice view of one of the electric engines just north of the
out of the East Portal. Notice the buildings that are definitely not there
anymore. Postcard from 1908
A wide variety of train pictures Mostly historical
Three electric engines pulling a
steam train up to and ultimately through the tunnel.
Freight train heading westbound
in 1945, shortly
before the removal of the catenaries.
picture taken 8-13-1941 depicts 3 electrics pulling a very big load & a steam
engine over the 3rd (and present) generation trestle. Notice the building on the
other side of the river.
electrics pulling a steamer through the east portal. Probably taken during the
Diesel passing over the trestle ready to enter the East Portal (6-16-1954)
tail end of the above Diesel. Notice the wooden crossing, and the interesting
is engine 3623 pulling a couple passenger cars over the Deerfield trestle onto
the Rowe side. Notice the 3 signals on the right. The picture was taken sometime
old HT&W steamer crossing the bridge. I believe it is switching tracks. The HT&W
RR follows the Deerfield River north to Readsboro (which is where is ended when
this picture was taken in 1941. It used to proceed to Wilmington VT but was
abandoned in 1938.)
steamer heading out from the portal. Notice the signal tower, and the water
A lot of these pictures didn't really fit in anywhere else so I made a
generic spot for the rest
view from the tracks looking up at the East Portal
that really doesn't want you to trespass.
day picture taken on the trestle east of the portal. Looking SE. Notice the
single track, as well as the signals.
the Hoosac Tunnel, not sure how far from the East Portal, maybe about 1000 feet,
this is the first brick arching you come across. Notice the fog (not smoke).
since dead transmission poles. These seem to continue up the mountain. These
were quite the odd find for me.
view from south of the railroad. This shows just how deep the approach is, as
well as how neat the water diversion looks from above.
surprisingly nice shot of the portal and the rocks next to it.
plaque commemorated the 50th anniversary of the worlds first rail fan
expedition. This plaque was
stolen April 2004 and hasn't been seen since.
A view from the hillside. You can see the bridge to Hoosac station/Soapstone
trestle, probably from around the 1940s. Looking southward.