Claustrophobic People Must Avoid This Nebraska’s Longest Tunnel

As people settled in the United States, it became increasingly difficult to connect towns. Tunnels were vital constructions in many sections of the country, connecting harsh terrain, mountains, and bodies of water. Fortunately, Nebraska didn’t require many extensive tunnels to connect the state. Take a peek at Nebraska’s longest tunnel to learn how long it is, where it is, and what creatures live there.

What is Nebraska’s longest tunnel?

Claustrophobic People Must Avoid This Nebraska's Longest Tunnel

The Belmont Tunnel is Nebraska’s longest tunnel, measuring 698 feet and located near Belmont, Nebraska. At least one report indicates that the tunnel is 750 feet long in all. The tunnel also passes by the Burlington Railroad Belmont Tunnel.

Belmont is now a ghost town, and Dawes County’s population is less than 10,000. The tunnel is located in the northwest region of Nebraska, far from major cities.

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A History of Belmont Tunnel

The Belmont Tunnel was formerly a railway tunnel through which freight could be transported. The builders’ purpose was to cut through solid rock and lay a railroad from Crawford to Alliance. Alliance is home to a railroad junction that connects to other railroads around the state and beyond.

Workers began construction on the tunnel in 1888 to connect the area’s existing railway to the Burlington Line of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad. Kilpatrick Bros. & Collins took on the project and engaged around 1,200 workers to excavate the tunnel.

The task was both intensive and slow. Typically, the total length gained through the ridge was around six feet every day. The railway rails arrived in the area on August 17, 1889. On August 25, 1889, the laborers finished the tunnel.

During World War I, men of the National Guard guarded the tunnel because it was so crucial for freight transportation. The tunnel worked for a few decades until it was enlarged in 1920. Nonetheless, the structure only carried one track through the tunnel.

The tunnel was built to transport freight, although it also accommodated passengers until 1969. At the time, the railway intended to construct a double-track line through the area rather than a tunnel, but those plans were abandoned.

Claustrophobic People Must Avoid This Nebraska's Longest Tunnel

The train via the tunnel was operational until 1982. At that time, a new line was constructed through the area, bypassing Nebraska’s longest tunnel. Today, the tunnel serves as a local tourist attraction. Many people pass through the 698-foot structure, and some of them leave graffiti.

Walking inside the tunnel may cause some people to feel claustrophobic. After all, even after the expanding initiatives, the tunnel remains quite narrow. It’s around two football fields long, but it feels much longer when you’re in the middle of it.

The tunnel is also on private property, therefore walking through it without permission from the owners may result in an interaction with the authorities.

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Where is the Belmont Tunnel on a map?

The Belmont Tunnel is located east of Nebraska Highway 71, between Crawford and Marsland. The tunnel has no active rails, however the replacement railway runs practically parallel to the Belmont Tunnel. Without these landmarks, it can be difficult to find the tunnel. After all, Belmont is a ghost town, and the surrounding area has a very low population. Still, using the map above, you can readily locate Nebraska’s longest tunnel.


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