Pattenburg Tunnel

I know a little bit about the Pattenburg tunnel, but would appreciate any info anyone can provide me.

38 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joe Monahan on February 10, 2021 at 8:31 PM

    Whatever happened to Paul ,Bruce and Karl ? I was trying to reach out to Kay. My phone number is 239 603 9572
    I live in Florida now.


  2. Posted by Scotty rettino on October 19, 2019 at 9:04 PM

    My grandparents owned the farm , 5 acres, that backed up to the quarry.. James Rettino,, . I spent my childhood playing in the quarry and in the tunnel.. it was an absolute dream for a 9 year old ! I once found a firecracker and took it back to grandpa’s and watched his face melt as I showed him.. it turned out to be a very aged “” blasting cap “”.. lol, I had it in my pocket.. the crystal clear little brook that ran beside the one lane tunnel was the perfect place to cool off in… really miss the farm.. back then he kept it clear with the exception of 3 acres of queen Ann’s lace… beautiful!! Now that acreage is all overgrown,, it’s a shame


    • Posted by Terry pipes on March 9, 2021 at 5:05 PM

      Hi Scotty,

      You don’t know me but my husband and I purchased your grandfathers property in 1984 in Pattenburg. We also farmed it for many years (corn and asparagus) but now we are letting the fields become natural woodland, mostly because we are in our 60’s and farming is just getting too hard.

      Our kids also ran wild in the quarry, jugtown mtn., and Mulhockaway Creek when they were kids too and have lots of stories to tell. We have hiked to the train tunnels many times, and still in the summer the mist comes out like air conditioning for a cooling breeze. We love Pattenburg and that house.

      It has stayed in our family and now our son and his wife and two dogs are living there. If you are ever in the area you should stop by and introduce yourself.


      Terese and Dennis Pipes


      • Posted by Joe Monahan on March 11, 2021 at 10:53 AM

        By any chance did you know any of the Shuing family ? I was in a gun club that hunted on their property back in the 70’s . Been wondering what happened to Kay , Paul , Bruce and Carl ? I visited the property a few years ago and it looks like much of the land state owned. The pig pen is in the same spot and the ground is still marked by where the pheasant pen once stood. Great memories. I too have been through the water filled tunnel on a small john boat in the 70’s.


        • Posted by Terry pipes on March 11, 2021 at 11:06 AM

          Hi Joe,

          Yes, we knew both Carl and Paul and we also met their sister a couple of times. Sadly, Carl died over a decade ago I believe in some kind of hunting accident. After their Dad died much of the property went into the Green Acre Program, but Paul and his wife Rachel, still lived on the property, last I knew they were still living there. Their son Paul went to school with my daughter.


  3. Posted by Robert Clappse on April 17, 2017 at 10:26 PM

    My great grandparents had a farm there in the 1950s-1960s,Thats before route78 was there.You had to take route22 up the jugtown mountain and on to phillisberg at that time.The Russells was their name.the entrance to the farm in the 1950s was halfway up the mountain before you would reach the top, off the east bound lanes of route 22. After they begun route 78 threw the mountain it cut right threw the farm and the driveway off the mountain.So in the 1960s you got to the farm house by a service road that ran along route 78 on the pattenberg side.After my great grand parents passed, Edward Russell kept the place.Ihave not been there since the 1970s and am interested in whats on the property now. I lost touch with my uncle Eddie and never knew what happened to the place.We lived in union township when I was in Grammer school at Union Township elementry, and North hunterdon regional high.Wow was jugtown mountain awful in the winter to travel over on route 22, I remember sometimes on the way to my grandparents the car could hardly get up the mountain, and coming down was even more scary.The bend on that road coming down was incredible. Also there was a spring up there that ran always and we would fill our jugs with that fresh spring water. I understand that they said it became polluted and everyone stopped getting water there.I was always told thats how the mountain was named because every one took jugs up thereto fill with that cold fresh spring water.Also at the bottom of the mountain on the right side of 22 was the Mira-Mar pool filled with that spring water, we go there to swim in the summers in the 1960s does anyone remember this. And a large general store was at the bottom of the mountain also on a off shoot road as you came to the bottom of that mountain a family member ran,I think before I was born I think it may also have been a Inn. Does anyone remember any of this I would love to know.Also had family that lived on tunnel road, would go look at those tunnels when we visited them.I ghave thought of that area a lot these days,some of my family members are buried in the Bloomsberry.


  4. Posted by pat okeeffe on August 19, 2015 at 8:24 PM

    there is a tunnel under jugtown mountain on north side it is closed up I could see the top portal exposed that was 39 years ago facing west dit not look for east portal


    • Posted by Anne Rogers on August 20, 2015 at 9:40 AM

      Pat, don’t know if I sent this reply correctly as it is listed under someone else. Here it is again in case I made a mistake–My great-grandfather, Walter A. Rogers, of Bates and Rogers built the “new” tunnel in 1929. Actually, Grandpa and one of his brothers worked on it briefly as well when they were teenagers. Would so love to find out exactly how to access it to take pictures. Thanks!


  5. Posted by Joe Monahan on April 22, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    As a teenage boy about 40 years ago I used to go to the rockpit and have been all thru that tunnel from one side to the other. We explored everywhere as kids do. I belonged to a gun club that was called Key city Rod and Reel gun club that was on the Shoeing property. Back then they owned an awful lot of property around there and we would come out at the quarry from there property. I was trying to find out if any of them still had the property there. The dad was Herb and he had Paul , Bruce and Karl and a daughter Kay. I grew up in Kearny which is right next to NYC and what a great place Pattenburg was when I was a kid. I’m looking forward to getting back there someday as I moved to Florida when i was 16 years old.


  6. Posted by bill on April 3, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    Have been out around the tunnels several times over the past two years. The new tunnel is still very active with freight trains. The old tunnel is empty with a foot or so of water throughout the entire length. The cool air in the summer combined with the water and generally overall moist conditions creates fog in the old tunnel. Thats why you can’t see the other end. It’s still clear from end to end, no collapse, just fog. In the winter when temps are down and there is no fog you can see through to the other end. If you try walking through when everything is frozen you will still need hip boots because as you get into the tunnel in the winter the air is warmer than outside and the ice is thinner. A word of warning. It is private railroad property, and you dont want to get stuck in the tunnel when a train comes through. The diesel fumes are really strong.


    • Posted by Droid on May 9, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      Just to give everyone a heads up. Pattenburg Quarry is privately owned & new signs have been posted around the perimeter for “No Trespassing”. Also, there is several HD live/video surveillance cameras stationed in the quarry.


  7. Posted by Elisha on February 2, 2011 at 1:30 AM

    I realize that this thread is pretty old, but I used to visit the tunnel & the abandoned quarry in the mid 90s with an ex-boyfriend of mine, who was an avid railfan. We were both teenagers at the time, and I was unaware that I’d been tresspassing until years later.

    The old tunnel could be viewed from the quarry side only, to the right of the active tunnel. At the time when we were frequent visitors, there was a gentleman who’d purchased the old tunnel to use as a mushrooom farm (due to its being so dark & wet), so we didn’t even attempt to walk through it, for fear that we’d crush his crop. I have several pictures from our trips there.


  8. I believe will is incorrect with the construction date of the ‘old’ tunnel. I believe it is 1871, and in fact was built by both newly freed African-American slaves and recent Irish Immigrants. There was an altercation between the two groups which culminated in what was refereed to as ‘The Pattenburg Murders.’ Also, the very nearby Pattenburg Inn, was built to accomodate the tunnel workers. I suspect the Methodist church, built around the same time on the West Portal side, was to accomodate the pious among them. The new tunnel, built in 1929, was originally a two track affair, but was changed to a single centered track(to accomodate the taller auto-carrier train cars) in (I believe)the late 1970s. the long sidings that are on both ends outside the tunnel, are where trains wait patiently until signalled, while the ‘lead’ trains go through.


    • Posted by Jeff on November 15, 2010 at 6:42 PM

      Do people still ride the atvs by the old quarry we use to ride years ago do they bother the quads there now


    • Posted by Anne Rogers on August 20, 2015 at 9:37 AM

      My great-grandfather, Walter A. Rogers, of Bates and Rogers built the “new” tunnel in 1929. Actually, Grandpa and one of his brothers worked on it briefly as well when they were teenagers. Would so love to find out exactly how to access it to take pictures. Thanks!


      • Posted by Mike on October 19, 2015 at 3:32 AM

        Anne, If you type “West Portal, NJ” into google maps, straight down from where the red marker appears, is what looks to be a Y. The Y is where Ridge Rd. on the left & Tunnel Rd. on the right meet. The point that they meet is one entrance but I don’t know if it’s accessible, because it’s down in a hole next to homes. Tunnel Rd goes under Rt. 78 but the tunnel is not very close to that. I will explain where the other entrance where I have entered is. If you look at where Tunnel Rd goes under Rt. 78, look to the right and you’ll see a road that is close to Rt. 78 then points down and ends, it’s Bellwood Ave. NOT Bellwood park Rd, that’s farther to the left. It points south and ends. The end is pointing at the entrance to the tunnel. Mulhockaway creek runs next to railroad tracks that run North-west to the tunnel. There is another tunnel where the industrial area is to the left. I think that one is the old Tunnel that no trains go in. I haven’t been there in a few years, so I don’t know if you can get in them or not. If you can’t find this, it’s close to the Pattenburg house on Rt. 614. The industrial area is just North of that. You can see a cut out line in the trees on both sides of Rt. 78. You can draw a line connecting both entrances of the Tunnel, from about 11 o’clock to about 5 o’clock is the direction of the line. It’s diagonal rather than straight up and down. The tunnel is VERY long. I hope this helps. LOL
        To find both areas you will need to zoom in and out and move around a bit, rather than stay in the same spot as the starting point. Have Fun & Be Safe!


  9. Posted by Will on June 20, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    I just went to the tunnes yesterday they still exist. One tunnel is live and the other is filled with water. i went the tunnel road way. the abandoned tunnnel was built in 1826(whitch it says above the tunnel) it is like you walk into a snowstorm when you get close to it. it turns soo cold. the live tunnel is stright you can see the other side but the abandoned one is curvey i think or it has a collapse cuz you cant see the other side. we crossed using the live tunnel. it took us like q15 min and we were running the whole way. it doesnt look long but its very very long. once we got the the quary side we explored that. we couldnt fibd the other side to the abandoned tunnel our next trip we are going to try to find the quary side of the abandoned tunnel nd going to find landside lake witch was suposivly where the landslide was. there also is supposivlty a road that runs behind the quary that wil take you there good luck any questions plese email


    • Posted by lostinjersey on July 12, 2010 at 8:40 PM

      any pics?

      also how filled with water? a foot? more? and as for being cold, it’d be hard to compete with the ice tunnel; of byram cause theres always ice in there, thats how cold that place is.


  10. Posted by roadman on December 10, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    I have lived in Bethlehem Township most of my life near the Tunnel area and have been through them many times. I have done alot of research on the old tunnel. I have found information on how they were built but am looking for pictues of the construction. Does anyone have pictures of the construction they are willing to email? Thank you.


  11. Posted by george on April 30, 2009 at 2:50 PM

    i am currently a resident and we just went through the tunnel last sunday,they both exist and are right next to each other. if you walk through the active tunnel (about twenty minute walk) look on your right and the abandoned tunnel is right there.its also full of water about a foot at the beginning and about two feet at the quarry can also get there from tunnel road in bloomsbury take exit 11 follow 173 west at the bottom of jugtown mountain make the left onto tunnel road go about 3/4 of amile just before you go under the over pass look down on the right thats the tunnel.bring a flash light its a great adventure also a little spooky. hope this helps all that are curious


    • Posted by lostinjersey on May 1, 2009 at 10:40 AM

      thanks for the info. i’m hoping to get out there soon.


    • Posted by S. Rusin on December 2, 2009 at 9:32 PM

      My grandfather was a Scottish imagrant and helped to build the tunnels. I have photographs of the construction. He was an “A” worker, and was able to buy bycycles for his boys (three) while he was employed working on the tunnels. My father (84) remembers living on “Tunnel Road” when his father worked on the tunnel.


      • Posted by lostinjersey on March 13, 2010 at 2:02 PM

        I would love it if you can share any stories he told you, or any photographs you have. post them or feel free to email me at lost at lostinjersey dot com


        • Posted by victoria kugelman on August 11, 2010 at 6:25 PM

          i was born and raised in pattenburg and my father worked the quary when I was young the5 used to be a road rite accross from the patenburg house befor you go under the railroad tracks. it led to the quary and passed the scales you could walk to the tunnels. we use to hunt bottles on the site of the old belmont park.great place for that .if you walk the tracksinto pattenburg ther are the old pilons were water towers stood next to the railway station wich is now a home .also a remnant of an old spring wich still ran with cool fresh water when i was a child. Cappy crevling lived accross the street by the creek side and the creek was named cappy,s brook. there was a larg stone arch wich crossed over the creek to hold the tracks. we called it castle creek and played many fantasy renisaunce games there. It was a wounderland of adventure for me and my cousins.@nd generation living and growing in that town.the whole town had 16 houses , bachmans store wich was the post office and gas station,the methodost church the old red school wich was closed at that time,and the pattenburg house.I use to cut christmas trees on the turtle back wich was an old log trail were the men cut lumber and firewood for the town. ther was also a basket factory wich still ran in my day but was removed when I was 12. it made most of the decorative turned post and other building materials as the town thrived threw the buiding of the tunnels.the tunnels brought the park and prosperity to a very small mountain town .you might check on the history of the name pattenburg its very intereting.But thats another story.


          • Posted by D.J. on October 22, 2011 at 2:21 AM

            Hi, I wasn’t born in Pattenburg, but we moved there when I was 5 years old. I remember Bachman’s store, the Methodist church and the old red School house. We lived in a mobile home park behind the Pattenburg House. I too enjoyed the magic and mystery of exploring beyond the stone arch under the tracks. When we lived there an old man named Smitty lived there and he built one of the bridges over the creek, the one closer to the pond. It would be interesting to know more about your adventures there.


          • Posted by Smokey Stoneback on June 3, 2015 at 7:38 PM

            Victoria, How Long Ago Was Your Family In Pattenburg?
            I ask because I have over 100 glass negatives of Pattenburg..I may have some of your relatives??


      • Posted by Anne Rogers on August 25, 2014 at 12:36 AM

        Hi! I believe the tunnel was built by my great-grandfather’s construction company, “Bates and Rogers” in the 20s. I have a copy of a letter from my grandfather, Walter C. Rogers, telling my aunt how he worked on the tunnel with his dad. Bates and Rogers was a Chicago-based company which did a lot of work in the east.

        Would be interested in seeing the photos! I have ordered 2 Bates and Rogers books–“The 25th Milestone” and “Building for Peace”.


      • Posted by Smokey Stoneback on June 3, 2015 at 7:04 PM

        Hi. I collect old Bellewood Park Stuff..I ZWould Love To Have Some Scans Of Photos You Have Of The Tunnel (Musconetcong Mountain Tunnel) My email address is:
        Many Thanks,
        Smokley Stoneback


  12. Posted by Anonymous on March 22, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    The tunnel is in the town of Pattenburg, and the other side comes out in West Portal, NJ. You can take interstate 78 and get off exit 11 to get to either west portal or Pattenburg. my friend and I live on opposite sides of the tunnel, and have lived their our whole lives. There is a abandoned quarry on the Pattenburg side of the tunnel. I have no clue what the coordinates of the tunnel are, but if you find the leigh valley rail road, and just follow that, you will end up at the tunnel. There is supposedly another abandoned tunnel, that they stopped working on somewhere near the working tunnel, and it is hidden in the woods and full of water, if you have any information about where this tunnel is, please email me.


  13. Posted by Tanya on March 22, 2009 at 8:01 PM

    The location of this tunnel is Route 614 in Pattenburg NJ. You can get to the tunnel via the Quarry which is adjacent to the Pattenburg Fire Company. You will need to travel on foot……and I suggest you go during the day because one tunnel is still live and they are both old and difficult to maneuver during the dark. Good luck


  14. Posted by Frank on March 22, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    Hi I was raised in Pattenburg as my Grandfather worked for the valley rr…and I was told by him that standing looking at the current tunnel…that the closed one was supposed to be on your right …because the tracks for this tunnel rain in front of the tower…..if that’s still there…


  15. Posted by Ryan on March 22, 2009 at 8:00 PM

    I am a former Pattenburg resident and I know that the tunnel does still exist. When you follow the tracks through the quarry the tunnel will be on the right. If you are going to go through the tunnel make sure you have a good flashlight and a good pair of boots. The last time I passed through the tunnel in 1996 it was very wet and muddy on the sides, but there was a narrow trail down the middle.


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