Big Tunnel; Tunnelton IN
Big Tunnel (aka Tunnelton Tunnel, aka Ritner Tunnel) is 1731ft long, completed in 1857. Falling rocks was common, so it was brick lined in 1898. Supposedly haunted by a number of entities, most popular is the headless switchman carrying a lantern. Google this tunnel for TONS of people killed on, near, or in this tunnel. My guess is most is folklore, like the tale of coffins and bodies falling through the ceiling from the cemetery above during construction. I wish I knew about the cemetery when I was there last week, I would have for sure visited.
This tunnel IS NOT abandoned. It is owned and operated by CSX, and freight traffic does still pass through it.
1. Tunnel Hill/River Rd.
2. Tunnel Hill/River Rd.
3. Tunnel Hill/River Rd.
4. Embankment up to Big Tunnel, from Tunnel Hill/River Rd.
8. Hard to tell by grainy camera phone and 2D, but the white streaks were lime stone "soda straws" hanging from the ceiling. Under perfect conditions, these will grow into stalactites at a snail's rate of 1" for every 100 years. The longest ones were about 1.5".
9. This was my tortoise friend, Chip! He was about 100' into the tunnel and trying to climb over the rails.
10. Chip was relocated to the other side of the tracks, and pointed to the exit. Good look Chip!!
12. Again, hard to see from photo quality, but you can see the black soot coating the red brick from the long past days of coal fired steam locomotives.