Railroad Tunnel #22, Eaton, West Virginia

Railroad Tunnel #22, Eaton, West Virginia

Railroad Tunnel #22 Collapses, Train Wreck, Abandoned, West Virginia

Tunnel 22, built in 1857, also known as Rodemer’s Tunnel is 338 feet long and one of the 3 tunnels that were bypassed in 1963.

Since the bypass in 1963, the tunnel has suffered a collapsed wall which I explore in this video.

Also, Dan Robie with the West Virginia and North Carolina Rails website states that on June 30th, 1950 at 3:25PM a westbound mail train entered the east portal of the tunnel at 48 mile per hour which exceeded the 45 mile per hour limit for this section of the line. The east portal is the side that you just saw me enter. I was unable to enter the west portal due to the amount of vegetation in the area. Anyway, there were 2 locomotives and 16 cars of various types including coach, baggage and refrigerated express cars that day in 1950.

Upon entering the tunnel, the engineer of the lead locomotive heard a sound indicative of a broken rail and the train began to derail before the brakes could be applied. Both locomotives derailed to the right moving along the north wall of the tunnel and derailed to the right after exiting the west portal. Both locomotives sustained considerable damage as did the first three cars. The north wall of the tunnel was heavily damaged and the track inside destroyed. The engineer in the second locomotive was killed and the engineer and fireman in the lead locomotive sustained injuries. All equipment was determined to be in good order at the time of the accident. The Interstate Commerce Commission conclusion was the derailment was attributable solely to a broken rail.

GPS Location: 39º11’54.3″N 81º20’10.9″W