The Quemahoning Tunnel may have never been built by the Pennsylvanina Turnpike Commission, but it still has a history unto itself.  Originally planned to carry rail along the South Penn Railway, the tunnel never saw any trains until 1909 when a small line named the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland & Somerset began utilizing it.  The use was brief and by 1916 the PW&S no longer abandoned the facility.  Twenty-some years later, the newly formed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission considering using the abandoned tunnel, in fact it was shown on some original plans.  However, the PTC decided against using it, and the tunnel has continued to sit empty.

The eastern portal of the Quemahoning Tunnel is easily accessible from the PA Turnpike.  The portal is located at mile 106.3 along the westbound roadway.  It is one of the many 'What Could Have Been's?' of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Below, Bill Symons shares photos take in late Fall of 1986 of the eastern portal of the Quemahoning and how close it does sit from the highway.


Looking into the entrance of the eastern portal.  (Symons, 1986)

The entrance is slightly hidden from view to those on the westbound pike.  However, it sits relatively close to the modern highway.

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  • St. John's Church
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    Page Created: November 26, 2002
    Last Updated: September 28, 2003

    (C) 2002-03 Adam Prince