Friday, June 21, 2013

Railfan Spencer Jack Takes His Dad And Favorite Girlfriend To The Cascade Tunnel

In the picture, on the left, you are looking at my great nephew, Spencer Jack, sitting on his dad. On the right you are looking at the west terminus of the new Cascade Tunnel.

Cascade Tunnel tunnels through the Cascade Mountains near Stevens Pass, with the west end of the tunnel being about 65 miles east of Everett, Washington.

The Cascade Tunnel is 7.79 miles long, making it the longest railroad tunnel in the United States.

Construction of the new Cascade Tunnel began in December of 1925, completed in 1928, going into operation on January 12, 1929.

The new Cascade Tunnel replaced the original Cascade Tunnel, which began construction on August 20, 1897, operational on December 20, 1900. The original Cascade Tunnel was much higher, and shorter, at 2.63 miles, than the new Cascade Tunnel, as you can see via the diagram below.

The original Cascade Tunnel did not solve the problem with snow slides, due to the railway still being at a high elevation.

On March 1, 1910, an avalanche came crashing down at a place called Wellington. 96 people were killed in what became known as The Wellington Disaster, it being the deadliest avalanche in American history.

It was The Wellington Disaster which prompted the construction of the new Cascade Tunnel, and nearly a century later prompted renowned Skagit Valley author, Martin Burwash, to write the best selling historical novel about The Wellington Disaster, titled Vis Major.

Above that is Spencer Jack's favorite girl friend, Brittney, on top of the entry to the Cascade Tunnel.

I am a little surprised that it is so easy to get to, and above, the Cascade Tunnel entry, what with this age of overdone security we are currently plagued with.

No comments: