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Hoosac Tunnel

Hoosac Tunnel

HOOSAC TUNNEL, opened in 1876 after 22 years of construction that claimed nearly 200 lives, extends 4.73 miles through the Hoosac Mountains of Massachusetts, a southern extension of the Green Mountains. It was started in 1855 by the Troy and Greenfield Railroad as part of a plan to divert western trade to Boston. The state aided the railroad but was forced to take over the tunnel when the railroad failed in 1863. In 1887 the tunnel was turned over to the Fitchburg Railroad, which became a part of the Boston and Maine. Compressed air drills were first used in the United States in 1866 in the construction of this tunnel.


Carman, Bernard R. Hoot Toot & Whistle: The Story of the Hoosac Tunnel & Wilmington Railroad. Brattleboro, Vt.: Greene Press, 1963.

Cleveland, F. A., and F. W. Powell. Railroad Promotion and Capitalization. New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1981.

James D.Magee/a. r.

See alsoAllegheny Mountains, Routes Across ; Railroads ; Tunnels .

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