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CAST TUNNEL LINERS CRAFTSMAN/Victor Hand, photographs by author


Prototype A rocky outcrop on the prototype demanded a short tunnel to allow the railroad to escape river running and head inland.


Model


The tunnels were mod- eled but designed with a curve to facilitate placement on the layout. Many hours were spent making the tunnel faces accurate.


PVC Pipe was used to create the pattern for the tunnel liner.


Trackwork on the Hudson Divi- sion of the New York Central Rail- road (HO Gauge) had progressed from Harmon westward 3.2 miles to Oscawana — a small suburban station along the Hudson River. Wiring was complete, and a work- ing signal system was in place. It was time to think about scenery. At Oscawana, the Hudson Di- vision main line leaves the banks of the river and turns inland for a few miles. A rocky outcrop on Oscawana Island required a tun- nel, and one was built when the Hudson River Railroad was con- structed in 1848. When Grand Central Terminal was being built in New York City in the first de- cade of the 20th Century, im- provements were made all along the line to Albany. These improve- ments included the shop and sta- tion complex at Harmon where electric locomo- tives turned their trains over to steamers, and quadruple tracking of the railroad as far as Peekskill, 40 miles from New York City. The two


60 RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN


additional tracks required a sec- ond tunnel at Oscawana. New York Central and Hudson River Railroad purchased land in 1912 and built a new tunnel. After com- pletion of the second tunnel, the original bore was enlarged and re- built in 1913.


It is interesting to note that land was purchased in 1907 for a cutoff from Oscawana to Mon- trose that would have eliminated two sharp curves (and almost 180 degrees of curvature). For some reason, management decided to


build the second Oscawana tun- nel instead. The Montrose cutoff was never built, and Metro-North Railroad continues to use the 100-year-old tunnels.


The Oscawana tunnels are distinctive. The east end portals are very high to retain the rock above them and are offset from the track alignment by about 15 degrees. The west end portals are more conventional. The two tun- nels are spaced quite far apart. The prototype tunnels are 216 feet long (new) and 180 feet long


CAST TUNNEL LINERS


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