The Railroad That Never Was Part 2

The Southern New England railroad, a.k.a. the railroad that never was has always fascinated me. In my last post, I showed some of the “bones” that still remain to be seen throughout my hometown of Southbridge. Today I have some more to share.

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Southern New England RR – Tunnel Remnants

This is the best time of year to go searching for bones in the woods, although as I have learned they aren’t always in the woods. The snow is gone, the leaves have yet to leaf out and anything that fell during autumn is packed down leaving a clear view of what there is to be seen.

This past week I headed to the west side of town in pursuit of the remnants of the SNE tunnel which went beneath Main St. Even though it had been filled in soon after the project was abandoned, I had been told there was some evidence remaining. In our first picture, we are looking directly at the south side entrance to the tunnel. Main St. runs above this fill. To the left is what remains of the abutment.

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SNE – Tunnel Abutment

Considering its age (built 1914) the abutment is still in remarkably good shape. The concrete is crumbling at the base and there a few cracks but I think it is safe to say it should be good for another 100 years.

The bed itself is quite passable either by foot or mountain bike although I was covered with ticks when I was through my exploration. It also looks like someone may be keeping it clear of major obstacles.

As you continue west along the trail you realize just how big the hill was that had to

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A pile of unused rocks.

cut. In one of the “Quinnebaug Valley Historical Leaflets” there is a description of this hill before it was developed as being covered with pines leading down to a peaceful river. It still remains so today.

 

The western end of this section of the SNE dead ends at the Westville Dam, built be the Army Corps of Engineers after the 1955 flood. The SNE continues on the other side.

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Westville Dam in Southbridge.

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The Quinnebaug still gently flowing along.

 

 

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