Vital statistics

Here are a bunch of important Hoosac Tunnel facts and figures.

First Proposed (for canal)






Headings met

November 27, 1873


July 1, 1876

Total Length

25,081 feet or 4.74 miles

East Portal to Central Shaft

12,837 feet

Central Shaft to West Portal

12,244 feet

West Shaft Depth

318 feet

West Shaft to West Portal

2,497 feet

Well #4 Depth

215 feet

Well #4 To West Portal

1548 feet

Supplementary Shaft Depth

277 feet

Supplementary Shaft to West Portal

2233 feet

Central Shaft Depth

1,028 feet

Central Shaft to West Shaft

9,694 feet

Central Shaft Dimensions

15(NS)x27(EW) feet elliptical

West Shaft Dimensions

14X10 feet

Supplementary Shaft Dimensions

13X6 feet

Well #4 Dimensions

6X6 feet brick lined

Eastern Summit above grade

1429 feet

Western Summit above grade

1718 feet

Error where the Central Shaft heading met the eastern heading.

5/16 inch

Error where the Central Shaft heading met the western heading

9/16 inch

Water Pumped from the Central Shaft

214 gal/min

Water discharge at East Portal

100 gal/min

Water discharge at West Portal

600 gal/min

Rock Excavated

About 2 Million tons


20 feet

Midsection Width

24 feet

Base Width

23 feet

Hand Drill advancement per month

About 50 feet

Burleigh Drill advancement per month

About 155 feet

Stone (from east to west)

Rowe Schist, Stamford Granite Gneiss, Metamorphic Conglomerate, Hoosac Schist, Stockbridge Limestone

Men employed during peak

About 900

First Train through

February 9, 1875

First Freight Train

April 5, 1875

First Passenger Train

Oct 13, 1875

East Portal Elevation

779 feet above sea level

West Portal Elevation

777 feet above sea level

Center Elevation

835 feet above sea level

West fašade finished

Mid 1874

East fašade finished

November 1877

Years Massachusetts spent over half the yearly budget paying off Hoosac debt.

10 years


Between 17 and 21 million $ in 1874

Number bricks used in arching


Feet of brick lining

7573 feet

Feet of brick tubing

883 feet

Distance between field phones

3000 feet

Lives lost during construction


Lives lost after construction


Year Double track was installed


Year electrification was implemented


Year electrification was removed


Steel door installed at West Portal


Reduction to single track


Passenger service ended


Single track centered


Height increased for triple stack cars


Continuous weld rail installed


Copyright 2000 - 2005 Marc Howes
Trespassing is illegal and dangerous especially when inside the tunnel with a train! If you go inside and see a light run and hide! that is unless of course its the portal, then you don't have to run nor hide. Trains burn diesel fuel and produce among other things carbon monoxide and deafening amounts of noise! Trains also have people in them and people have eyes used for seeing things.. Like trespassers! Just be careful use your head and stay safe.