Archive for the ‘Tunnels’ Category

Fire on Clausland Mountain near tunnels of Tweed

A fire on Clausland Mountain is finally under control after more then 24 hours. Several homes were threatened, but local firefighters were able to prevent any damage to them. The mountain is more than 300 acres of woodlands with hiking trails thru out. The mountain is home to the Bluefields Rifle range, more commonly known as the tunnels of tweed

4 Urban explorers told they can’t be BFF any more

Four urban explorers had made 200+ jaunts into places they shouldn’t have but this time they got pinched. With the royal wedding soon approaching, security was tighter then usual and the police were not going to be as lenient with them as they otherwise might have been. The four were actually let go, but a recent incident (not involving any of the four) prompted the police to revisit the offenders and make what can only be described as a shocking “penalty”.
In England there is such as thing called an ASBO (anti-social behavior order). It’s an alternative form of punishment to prison which involves some sort of a restriction, often not being allowed to do something or go somewhere for a period of time. In this case the four werent allowed to possess any materials that would aid in UE (no flashlights? really?), no blogging about the subject of UE, but the shocker was that they could no longer be friends.

You heard that right, the four best friends had to sever all ties between them.

I don’t even know where to begin.

First off, do they really get to just make up punishments in England? Apparently when it comes to ASBO, yes they can. They’re special penalties, often custom taylored to the offense or defendant or both. Second, they can’t blog about it? free speech anyone? Oh wait this is England, so there’s no fourth amendment. Third, how can they release them, then months later decide to hit them w/an ASBO? Finally, not being friends any more? Aside from being impossible to enforce, it’s also maddeningly broad. What constitutes friendship? I’m sure they have mutual friends, what if they all get invited to the same party? Would one of them have to leave? How would they decide without speaking to determine who should leave?

It’s mindboggling. I don’t know enough about ASBO’s to say much else, like whether they can appeal the decision or what would happen if they violated the order. All I know is that it’s patently foolish on the part of the police to even try to suggest that they not be friends any more.

I think there’s a vacation in Cincinatti in my future….

Apparently there’s a really neat abandoned subway system in Cincinatti….

The tunnels of Edgewater

There are several tunnels or caves that were mentioned in and around Edgewater. I know where some of these are, others I do not. Edgewater is a very old town. Lenape Indians have inhabited this area for thousands of years. Pirates at one point were frequently in the area of Hudson County not far away. Fort Washington was located right where the GWB now connects to NYC. Prohibition caused many people and businesses to create hiding places for liquor. Any of these could be the source of these caves and tunnels. If anyone has any information on any of them I would love to hear from you.Anyone with information about any of these tunnels is urged to please contact me.

First is a tunnel in The Palisades, supposedly just a few hundred yards from the GWB, just below the top of the cliff. Located (supposedly) directly beneath the old Riviera nightclub, it was hideout for liquor during Prohibition, but now serves as a place where the homeless hide out. I have looked several times and found nothing, and I am not climbing those cliffs for this. Not without a better idea of where I need to be looking.

Just south of there, directly opposite where the Henry Hudson Dr exits from along the river onto River Rd is a gigantic colossal monstrosity called The Palisades. This huge condo tower sits on top of some old tunnel, pictured below. The wall that surrounds it resembles other small walls found up and down the Palisades, many of which date back to Revolutionary days. It is clear that the tunnel was sealed with concrete. Where or how far it went is anybody’s guess.

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Then there is the tunnel *under* River Rd, located in front of the Von Dohln Mansion. I searched the area once but didn’t find it and calls to the town historian have gone unreturned. The Von Dohln Marina sits perhaps 1/3 mile south of The Palisades, but I didn’t see any mansion. According to an article in Weird NJ, a sewer engineer stumbled onto what appear to be a very very old tunnel under the roadway which was a few feet wide but looked extremely dangerous and no one would go into it. Presumably it was sealed off. Where did it go? How deep? Who built it? Is it related to the one at The Palisades?

Last but not least is the exit of the Fairview Tunnel. it originates under the Fairview cemetery, and travels straight for almost a mile before exiting near the southern end of town, somewhere near N40 48.856 W73 59.103. The area directly opposite it is now a mall, and I wonder what they will do with the opening as development comes closer & closer. The fence is lying in the water and presents no obstacle at all to curiosity seekers. I hear talk they may try to revive the rail line if the proposed ferry is created, as this would be a way to link up mass transit across the river with the railroad rider. Either way looks like something is going to happen to the tunnel at the east end for sure. and soon.

Ogdenburg tunnel

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It’s called a double bore tunnel (because it’s really two tunnels) but it’s also known as a backwards tunnel because the smaller tunnel is the one for vehicilar traffic while the larger tunnel is for the nearby river. It is designated as historic because the tunnel is 140 years old.

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Pattenburg Tunnel

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

Oxford Tunnel

The Oxford railroad tunnel is part of the old Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Branch, and has been defunct for several decades. This line runs from the Muscontencong River to Washington where it joins an active Conrail Line. The northern part of this line will take you to the Manunka Chunk tunnel.

Most railroad tunnels are wet from leakage of groundwater. The Oxford tunnel isn’t just wet, it’s got a river inside it, typically anywhere from 3 to 9 inches deep. The water that drains from it empties into the Pohatcong Creek. Enterprising explorers established a series of tires as a dry form of access to the occasion islands of dry dirt amidst the unending water. Reminds me of the tires you have to quickly run thru in high school, except here the idea is walk *on* the tires, not *in* them. Midway thru the mile long tunnel there is a roof collapse and the debris creates a dam about 4 ft high. Behind it is water of considerable depth, and supposedly trout breed in it….

As we left the tunnel, my friend noticed a small crevice beside the mouth of the tunnel and decided to explore. He did his monkey impersonation and soon scuttled up and inside it. He emerged on top of the tunnel directly over the mouth as you can see below.

See all the pictures.

The Ice Tunnel of Byram

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

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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.

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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.

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The railroad tunnel beneath Fairview Cemetery

The Fairview railroad tunnel is the end of the line for one particular route on the Susquehanna & Western railroad. The line traveled N/S thru Bergen County, and this particular section diverts off the main line in Little Ferry and heads east to Fairview. It ducks underneath Fairview cemetery and travels 1.5 miles before exiting the cliffs in Edgewater, near the old Hills Brother coffee plant. I surmise when the plant closed, that spelled the end for this spur of the railroad.

Regardless, the tunnel and the rail line closed. The tracks in the tunnel were removed, although most of the railroad ties were left behind. A fence was put up over both entrances and the tunnel was largely forgotten. But as is the case with many things forgotten, stories begin circulating, rumors begin to grow, and eventually, urban youth seeks it out to confirm the stories, as well as their own manliness and courage. The stories in Weird NJ are mostly true, although I found no evidence of wild dogs or cult activity.

Upon arriving at the entrance, I found myself walking amongst the trees and scrub brush, as the walls of the cliff grew higher & higher around me. I half-expected a cemetery worker to yell at me from above, but nothing happened. I made it to the entrance where I encountered a fence, but it was opened up (of course) by previous explorers. The passageway was relatively dark, but I still had light from the entrance, and thankfully the other end was always visible. As is the case with almost all old railroad tunnels, it was very very wet. There was a waterfall near the entrance and runoff water had left about 2-4 inches of water thru most of the first few hundred yards. I eventually realized there was a concrete path on the opposite side and I quickly switched to it.

The walk thru was relatively uneventful. I used my two flashlights to keep an eye ahead of me but also to keep an eye on the shadows. I wasn’t worried about cultists or wild dogs, but homeless people. I think that’s always a valid concern when dealing with abandoned places. Thankfully I encountered no one during my exploration. I did encounter a shaft that went straight up thru the ceiling. It looked like a natural opening in the rock and was perhaps 10 feet wide. According to some letters to the magazine it ends up in someone’s backyard, which is a frightening prospect if you ask me. I couldn’t get a GPS signal lock so I couldn’t figure out where I was, despite a search along the way when I walked back above ground. I eventually reached the opposite end after perhaps 20-30 minutes of walking. Although I had a solid path to walk on I went slowly for fear of the unknown. I slowed as I approached the end because I could hear construction equipment. It turns out the passage exits right near the center of town where the mall and movie theatre are.

As of 2003 when I visited here, there was a proposal to create a ferry in Edgewater. If this plan goes thru, there is a possibility that this rail line will be reactivated, and connect to a park/ride lot or other rail lines so people can get to the ferry without having to drive. This idea is only in the discussion stage, but if it happens then the days of walking thru this abandoned rail line will be over. Also around this time, a developer was looking to make a 177 condo tower above near the exit of the tunnel into edgewater. Damage to the railroad tunnel was cited as one of the concerns of the local residents.

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the tunnels of the NJ Palisades

Related Pages:

My experience in the NJ Palisades

Manuel Rionda’s Stone Tower: A large medieval looking tower which was part of an estate that stretched to the edge of the Palisades Cliffs

Old Bridge: In the woods of Creskill is a large stone bridge, which may be a part of the old Camp Merritt. A bit of research and a few emails from readers suggests this bridge is more likely a relic from the Rionda estate…..

Hitler’s Rock Profile: A 160 ft tall profile of Hitler appeared on the cliffs of the Palisades during WWII

Complete history of the Palisades: A detailed summary of the history of the Palisades.

In an old cemetery in the Palisades is the grave of a fellow named “Whack me Jug”

I recently explored some tunnels in the Palisades that a friend of mine had scoped out….These two are of a sewer that goes udnerneath 9W, alllowing a stream to get past the highway…