Skip to main content

Brockville Railway Tunnel

Recently, I had found out about a neat tunnel called the Brockville Railway Tunnel that was used for trains in Brockville, Ontario, located in the Thousand Islands region of the province. By chance, I decided to visit the tunnel on my way to Ottawa this past weekend.

An engineering marvel at 1730 feet in length, the Brockville Railway Tunnel happens to be the first railroad tunnel constructed in present-day Canada. The tunnel was built between 1854 and 1860 for the Brockville and Ottawa Railway to connect the Brockville waterfront on the nearby St. Lawrence River with the Ottawa River near Arnprior, Ontario to the north. Part of the tunnel is lined with brick, whereas natural stone forms the walls of the tunnel around its center portion. It should be noted that the plans to construct the tunnel was not without some public disagreement, as a number of people felt that it would be easier and more cost effective to build the rail line along the riverfront instead of building the tunnel under downtown Brockville. Supporters of building the tunnel prevailed, and as a result, trains traveled through the tunnel between 1860 and 1970.

The City of Brockville now owns the tunnel and it is used for recreational and tourism purposes. Recent renovations that took place in 2016 and 2017 (to coincide the Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations) to allow people to traverse the tunnel from end to end, as well as connect downtown Brockville and the city's waterfront with the Brock Trail system. With the renovations, there is a synchronized light and music show running every day of the year that you can enjoy if you are visiting the tunnel.

Historical plaque.

South entrance to the tunnel.

An alternate view of the south entrance to the tunnel.

Inside the brick lined part of the tunnel.

A section of the tunnel where natural rock is used for the tunnel wall. You may be able to see the transition to a brick lined portion of the tunnel wall in the distance, along with a change in the color of the light as well.

A section of the tunnel where natural rock is used for the tunnel wall.

Looking out towards the south portal of the tunnel.

Here are also a few YouTube videos to check out about the history and modern day renovation of the Brockville Railway Tunnel.



Sources and Links:
"The History of the Brockville Railway Tunnel" --- Brockville Railway Tunnel
"Brockville Railway Tunnel" --- Philips "The newly restored Brockville Railway Tunnel illuminated with Philips Color Kinetics dynamic LED lighting opens to the public this Saturday." --- Cision
"Railway Tunnel 2017 Preview" --- YourTV Brockville-Smiths Falls
"Brockville Railway Tunnel was Canada's First Railway" --- RailwayTunnel Brockville

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The original alignment of California State Route 1 in San Francisco

In 2019 the Gribblenation Blog Series covered the history of the Hyde Street Pier and the original surface alignment of US Route 101 in San Francisco.  Given the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic in May of 1937 coupled with the fact that the Sign State Routes had been announced in August of 1934 there were still some open questions regarding the original highway alignments in San Francisco.  Namely the question of this blog is; where was California State Route 1 prior to the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge?  Thanks the to the discovery of a 1936 Shell Highway Map of San Francisco and the California Highways & Public Works the answer can be conveyed clearly.     Part 1; the history of early California State Route 1 in San Francisco The genesis point for California State Route 1 ("CA 1") in San Francisco dates to 1933.  1933 was significant due to the State Legislature allowing the Division of Highways to assume maintenance of highways in Cities for the first time. 

Santa Clara County Route G8 and the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine

Santa Clara County Route G8 is a 29.38 mile County Sign Route which is part of the San Francisco Bay Area transportation corridor.  Santa Clara County Route G8 begins at California State Route 152 near the outskirts of Gilroy and terminates at former US Route 101 at 1st Street/Monterey Road near downtown San Jose.  Santa Clara County Route G8 incorporates the notable Almaden Expressway and is historically tied to the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine.   (Santa Clara County Route G8 map image courtesy CAhighways.org) Part 1; the history of Santa Clara County Route G8, the Almaden Road corridor and New Almaden Mine The present corridor of Santa Clara County Route G8 ("G8") began to take shape with the emergence of the Almaden Expressway.  According to the October 1960 California Highways & Public Works Unit 1 of the Almaden Expressway opened in November of 1959 between Alma Avenue near downtown San Jose south to the Guadalupe River as part of a Federal Highway Aid Secondary pro

California State Route 1 the Shoreline Highway Part 3; a drive through Mendocino County

This blog is Part 3 of a three part series on of the Shoreline Highway segment of California State Route 1 and features a drive through Mendocino County.  Part 2 found below features a drive through Marin County.  California State Route 1 the Shoreline Highway Part 2; a drive through Sonoma County Chapter 4; California State Route 1/Shoreline Highway through Mendocino County Upon crossing the Gualala River and entering Mendocino County CA 1 northbound traverses into Gualala at Postmile MEN 1.2. The land which the community of Gualala now sits was part of a 1844 Mexican Land Grant to General Rafael Garcia between the Gualala River and Mal Paso Creek.  After the Mexican-American War the State of California invalidated Garcia's Land Grant which was made it available to homesteaders.  In 1861 Cyrus Robinson filed a claim under the provisions of the 1820 Land Act on land upon which the community of Gualala now sits.  Soon a saloon, hotel and ferry would develop which formed the basis of