West Portal

West end looking east.





A rare look at the word ‘Hoosac” carved into the west portal. This view is usually covered over by the tunnel door but on this day workmen had exposed it while working on the door enclosure.

A shot of EDMO getting closer to the West Portal. The headlight reflecting off of the interior brickwork gives light to an otherwise dark tunnel.


Here is a pen and ink drawing of the brick arch and invert used to hold back the unstable earth.




By 1911 the railroad finished its electrification of the Hoosac Tunnel. Here is a look at the substation used to supply the power to the overhead catenary.

A look at the top of the substation showing the “cowboy hat” style insulators.




A look at the same substation today.





On the left of this view is the Haupt Tunnel. This tunnel was planned to be dug on a slight angle compared to the tunnel being dug from the east. It was thought that if both tunnels were started at the same elevation they would eventually intersect with a slight bend in the middle.

Straight ahead (west) is the wall of earth that will later be removed to create the railroad approach from North Adams.

This picture is a view looking out of the West Portal during construction. As you can see, there is a wall of earth. The west end of the tunnel was constructed before there was a completed approach from North Adams.

Although this may not seem to make sense, I believe that it was done because of tight funding from the State. If the tunnel was finished there would be money for the construction of the approach and railway. Why spend money on the approach first if the tunnel could not be completed?

This picture shows the removal of the earth on the west end. Steam shovels were used for this part of the construction. Considering the great length of time of this project it started with mules and men and finished with “modern” steam construction equipment.

Here is a photo of an F unit at the West Portal. Notice the line running up to the top of Spruce Hill. This is the exact tunnel line and can still be seen today.

Here is another picture of an F unit at East Portal. Once again the tunnel line over the mountain is quite clear. The railroad used to keep the right of way trimmed showing the exact tunnel line but this practice ended long ago. Interesting enough, the eastern tunnel line can still be clearly seen from Rowe’s Neck Lining Tower.