Boston and Maine Abandoned Tunnel - Clinton, MA
Posted by: NorStar
N 42° 24.300 W 071° 41.019
19T E 279153 N 4698233
Quick Description: This tunnel is situated in undeveloped woods through a hill by the Wachusett Dam in Clinton.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 10/29/2008 8:06:09 PM
Waymark Code: WM5290
In the old industrial town of Clinton, Massachusetts, there is an old railroad tunnel in the woods above Route 62, not far from the Wachusett Dam. It is approximately .2 mile long (roughly estimated on a map). Though the entrances are in wooded areas, Wilson Street runs along the top of the ridge that the tunnel bores through, and there are houses along it. The wooded lot is not marked as a park or conservation area, but houses yards are fenced off, and there are no 'No Trespassing' signs, so it appears to be just undeveloped area.
Getting to it is a little difficult, since parking is scarce nearby. In fact, as I drove on Wilson Street, I distinctly saw 'No Parking' signs at some spots. I parked along a religious school athletic field on Oak Street (don't park too close to a house at one end of the field - it looks like the car is parked along the road next to the house). Then, I walked down to Route 62 on the left side until I saw a stone structure that was the abutment to a trestle spanned across the road and river to the right of the road. There is an informal path from the road up to the level where the tracks were, above the trestle abutment. Once I arrived above the trestle I saw the tunnel to the left, less than 100 feet away.
The tunnel is in good shape. The stone faces at either end are in place. Inside the tunnel on the west side, the inner wall is smooth concrete, which, about a third of the way in, changes to rough stone. The track bed can still be traced in either direction from the tunnel. On the west side, the trestle foundations can be seen in the river (the outflow from the dam) and up the next hill. On the east side, there is a channel through the hill and under a bridge supporting Clamshell Road. It's easy to walk through the tunnel but the ground was wet and slightly muddy in places. A flashlight is a plus.
According to the source mentioned below, the line that included the tunnel and trestle was built in 1903 by the Boston & Maine Railroad as part of a four-mile extension from West Berlin. Passenger and freight was hauled on this line for a while. Freight traffic dwindled in the 1930s and the passenger service was stopped in 1958 and the track was abandoned.
I learned of this tunnel via Geocache: GC9A9D . I further learned about the tunnel that day when a tour that I was on talked about the tunnel and trestle. So, I doubly wanted to see it!
Ronald Dale Karr, "The Rail Lines of Southern New England," Branch Line Press, Pepperell, MA, 1995.
Construction: Rock & Mortar
Rail Status: No
Current status: Abandoned & Visitable
Original Use: Passenger Train
Tunnel Length: 1,000.00
Suggested Parking Area: N 42° 24.443 W 071° 40.928
Website: [Web Link]
Date Built: 1903
Date Abandoned: 1958
The "Other End": Not Listed
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