The Roseville tunnel is also known as the Ice Tunnel of Byram because it so cold that the water forms giant icicles and often there are piles of ice on the tunnel floor. The Lackawanna Railroad was considered an engineering marvel as they built concrete overpasses rather then allowing for crossings. Read more here. It is part of the same line as the Paulinskill Viaduct and was the line that replaced the Manunka Chunk line. The construction used 14,000,000 cubic yards of cuts and 15,000,000 of fills including the 2.5 mile long 110 foot high Pequest Fill. Read more here
The rail line runs along a park near Roseville Rd & Sleepy Hollow Rd in Byram. You can park anywhere you want, but you must head into the woods as close to Roseville Rd as possible, and walk about 1/3-1/2 mile down the old railine to the tunnel, otherwise you’ll be scaling a 50 ft rock face which you don’t want to scale (you’ll see why later on this page). The Roseville tunnel is also known as the Byram ice tunnel because the tunnel remains abnormally cold all year long. In fact it’s so cold that even in summer you can find ice stalactites & stalagmites.
I parked in the parking lot and headed directly for the tunnel. After a short walk I found the tunnel entrance but there was a 50 ft drop to reach it. A smart person would’ve hiked back to where the descent was less or even non-existent. Instead I thought I could just climb down the rock face. My shoes don’t fit 100% snugly and I had a big yellow flashlight that I clips to your belt loop. I was wearing sweatpants, ergo no belt loops to attach it to. I start descending trying to hold onto anything that would support me or brace me. I was knocking rocks down, breaking tree limbs, and the last 8 feet was an unprepared jump.
The tunnel itself is only 800 feet long and completely straight so there’s always enough light to see. As with most tunnels there was lots of water in it, but it was so cold that there was ice everywhere, forming great stalctites hanging from the ceiling. This made for great atmosphere but I was more impressed with the Manunka Chunk & Fairview tunnels. I got halfway in saw the rest was the same and decided to bail because it was late. I walked perhaps 1/3 of a mile before finding a spot that was marginally ascendable. Another couple of hundred yards would’ve made the return to the parking lot another 50% easier I think. But I got back without risking my life. Much.
I begin driving off and I realize that at some point I must’ve turned my ankle because it is hurting. I had no gas so I pulled into the first gas station I found. While waiting I noticed my sock had a dark spot. Dirt? I pulled it off to reveal a cut 2 inches long and several layers deep. I could see the fatty layer so I knew this might mean stitches. I picked up my son from the babysitter, then went to the E/R where I got 4 stitches. I now have a permanent scar on my ankle as a reminder of how stupid I was that day for climbing down a rockface needlessly.