1914 Train Tunnel

May 29, 2006 at 1:49 pm 2 comments

Today my co-worker, Bill C, and I went hiking through the Golden Hills Disc Golf Course and the Montgomery County Park to go look at an old train tunnel that was built in 1914.


On either side of the tracks near the tunnel, there were some old buildings, which nature was already starting to reclaim.  In the below picture you can see weeds growing on the concrete steps.

Old Building

This building and its stair garden reminded me of the article Earth Without People from the February 2005 issue of Discover magazine.  In that article, they describe how the DMZ in Korea has changed with just 50 years without people and they speculate how long it would take our cities to fall apart if humans suddenly disappeared.  When I originally read the article, there were two things that made me… well, I guess, slightly sad:

“Few domestic animals would remain after a couple of hundred years. Dogs would go feral, but they wouldn’t last long: They’d never be able to compete.”

Aww, poor dogs.  (I suspect Clint won't share my sentiment!)

Unless an earthquake strikes New York first, bridges spared yearly applications of road salt would last a few hundred years before their stays and bolts gave way (last to fall would be Hell Gate Arch, built for railroads and easily good for another thousand years).

Why do the demise of the bridges make me sad?  My grandfather, Gerard Ivanhoe Sawyer, built bridges! 🙂

It was a very interesting article.  Ignoring my personal attachment to dogs and bridges, it was surprisingly uplifting to know that:

In a few thousand years, "the world would mostly look as it did before humanity came along—like a wilderness."

Go Nature!

Entry filed under: Bill C, Discover, Grandpa.

Generosity to and from the Herbst Family Dogs vs. Honor Students

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian V  |  June 12, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    That’s really neat. There’s some more old train tunnels down along the New River – http://www.vtunderground.com/other/eggleston.htm

    There’s actually a handful of neat “urban exploration” and abandoned sites around the state. To me, it’s neat finding and reading about these places – seeing what they once were.

    This is a neat site showing tons of ‘offbeat tourist attractions’ all over the place.

  • 2. Sheer  |  September 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    You probably know that I have a great love of the Stephen’s Pass train tunnel, and helped throw a party there once a year for several years. I love abandoned train tunnels – there’s also a amazing abandoned subway tunnel in Rochester, N.Y. that is worth visited among other things because it has some beautiful spray-paint artwork.


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