Thursday, February 1, 2018

IAIS/CSX/Rock Island Split Rock Tunnel

(Bridge Hunter3D Satellite, looking east; 3D Satellite, looking north)

Flickr Photo taken by Tom Gill
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
1853 tunnel on left, right track 1882 along canal, a third track was built next to canal 1952 and tunnel abandoned, bridges over tracks are Chicago, Ottawa & Peoria RR (interurban line) built in 1903 & removed after 1934--(P.E. Vierling book-Hiking the Illinois and Michigan Canal and Exploring its Environs-copyright 1986
Art Work of La Salle County, 1916
Chicago Ottawa and Peoria railway updated



Dave Kuntz posted the comment: "I've heard there's an abandoned railroad tunnel near Starved Rock but can't find much. Any idea?"
David Kelzenberg I thought split rock was daylighted.

Lance Wales The north track (westbound main) had the tunnel, the eastbound main went around the south side of the rock bluff instead. So when they abandoned the westbound main, the tracks were torn up through the tunnel.

Harold J. Krewer Lance Wales, not quite...Yes, the original single main (later the North Track/Westward Main) went through the tunnel. Later the second track (South Track/Eastward Main) was laid around the outside of the bluff.
After WWII when the I&M Canal was officia
lly deactivated as a navigable waterway, the RI got an easement over the north bank towpath and slightly into the channel to extend the fill and put both tracks around the bluff. The old Eastward became the Westward (the track that remains today) and a new Eastward was built to the south of it on the new fill.


Harold J. Krewer Actually, if you look at old photos, it appears they also blasted a little bit off the face of that bluff to make room. The abutment for the Illinois Traction bridge that appears in so many postcards of Split Rock is missing. Blasting that whole bluff away to daylight the tunnel would have been cost-prohibitive.
BTW, this was but one of many of John Dow Farrington's "Planned Progress" improvement projects that brought the RI back to health in the late 40s.


Dave Kuntz What's the current railroad that goes near it?


William Wozniak well CSX and IAIS til CSX sub leased Utica- Henry back in 2006.

Steven Holding You can walk the Canal Foot path out to Split Rock from either direction BUT with the channelization of the Illinois River it is hard to tell what use to be there as the CCC/WPA stole the fill of the interurban to get to the top. And the tunnel is on the now CSX and off limits. I have heard snakes are bad in that area

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