I enjoy biking , hiking and have done quite a bit over the years. I thought it would be cool to start a thread about trails and such in the MD area. Kinda what we have to offer to the rest of them. Feel free to add!
Here is my first video. I recently started riding road bikes and this was my longest ride. Western Maryland Rail Trail from Big Pool up through Hancock to Pearre and back. I rode a little extra so I could break 50 miles.
This one is actually in Breezewood PA. (Close enough to MD though.)
How could so much money and labor go into cutting holes through the mountains, laying a road bed, only to be walked away from? Twice!
Photo taken in 1885r
Back in the late 1800's railroads had the market on transportation. New railroads were being constructed to out compete competitors. Connecting Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and Ohio was an early goal. William Vanderbilt spent $10 million creating 120 miles of road bed, including bridges, culverts, and 9 tunnels. One of his major backers, J.P. Morgan, sold the right-of-way to a competing railroad, thus pulling the plug in 1885.
Thousands of workers labored in the tunnels for $1.25/ 10 hour day, 26 of them lost their lives and the unfinished project became know as Vanderbilt's Folly. (More history)
The South Penn Railroad was abandoned. It lay furrow until it was resurrected to become "America's First Super Highway", the Pennsylvania Turnpike, our nation's first limited access highway.
Photo by Jean Swartz, courtesy Mitchell E. Dakelman / Neal A. Schorr
Opening on October 1, 1940, with hundreds of motorist waiting for hours to be the first to ride "The Road of the Future", the Turnpike was an immediate success. Easy and fast. Nothing to slow you down, (not even a set speed limit at first, and then 70MPH!)
Nothing except the tunnels.
From the start they were bottle necks. The 4 lane traffic funneled to 2 opposing lanes. This didn't work. Trucks had little clearance. Traffic backed up for miles. The Sidling Hill Tunnel had a hard time clearing the fumes.
It was apparent early that something needed to be done. 4 of the tunnels were "twinned" and retrofitted with new lights and tile walls but for 3 it was decided to bypass over the mountain rather than dig. (Fog and ice are a problem now, but at least everything is 4 lane).
This is the story of two of them.
In 1968 the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (TPC) bypassed the Ray's and Sidling Hill tunnels and 11 miles of pike.
An old lamp post at the entrance of the tunnel. It saddens me to look at this. A silent reminder of America's golden era. I love history, especially American history. I think that the period of the mid 1800's to the 1950's was this countries finest. We built things to last back then, and we will never reach that point again in my opinion.
how cool. thanks. I have been on both "paths", and it amazes me that you only see a handful of people all day. good idea on the lights, it's really DARK in there.. .... paw paw tunnel is worse, with the canal running water in there beside of you, another great trip though.
Originally Posted by tjc transport
Charlie would have hit me with the T-800, and kept on driving away while laughing his *** off.
Charlie slackmaster #26
"A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely fool proof, is to underestimate the ingenuity of a complete fool."
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