Thursday, August 21, 2014

Started Building the Gallitzin Tunnels

With scenery slowly moving westward from Horseshoe Curve, I figured it was time to start building the equally- famous Gallitzin tunnels. My usual method for tunnel construction involves building a large open box over the tracks. I started by taking a sheet of foam-core board and cutting it in half diagonally. I glued the halves to the edge of the layout. Next I cut supports for the tunnel roof out of an old cardboard tube that came rolled up in an area rug my wife and I bought. For the roof, I used more foam core board.

As you can see here, the four-track main line splits before entering the tunnel. In real life, two of the three remaining tracks go through the Gallitzin tunnels and though the center of the town of Gallitzin. Prior to the removal of the fourth track in the 1980s, these were the westbound tracks. One track was made bi-directional following the removal of the fourth track.

The two remaining tracks, went through the much steeper New Portage tunnel. As mentioned above, one of these tracks was removed in  the 1980s. Currently only eastbound traffic uses the remaining track. The New Portage Tunnel has its roots in the old Allegheny Portage Railroad. The APRR was the first railroad in that part of Pennsylvania. It used a series of inclined planes, connected by sections of railroad to move canal boats over the mountains. A new railroad line was constructed later to bypass the inclined planes. The line was called the New Portage Railroad.

A small section of the Allegheny Portage Railroad is preserved as a national historic site (Link). If you're traveling in that part of Pennsylvania, I strongly suggest checking it out.

In other news, Michael's had some good coupons this week, so I covered some more mountains with trees.

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