Clinton Tunnel - Atlas Obscura

Clinton Tunnel

This railroad tunnel was once the longest in Massachusetts. 

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With the construction of the Wachusett Reservoir in the early 1900s, many structures needed to be leveled. Whole communities were razed, and roads and train tracks needed to be rerouted.  As part of this rerouting, a short tunnel was built for the Boston and Maine Railroad.

The 2/10th of a mile long tunnel, completed in 1903, ran underneath a hill to the northeast of the reservoir.In the 1930s, freight traffic along the route began to dwindle, and by the late 1950s, both freight and passenger service had ceased. By the end of the 1970s, the railroad bridge that crossed over Route 62 and the Nashua River was taken down. The tunnel remains, intact, in the woods along route 62.  In the years since its abandonment, it has been covered in graffiti. The inside of the tunnel is said to create an optical illusion, by which it seems to go on forever when you walk through it.

As of 2020, the Clinton Greenway Conservation Trust (CGCT) is slated to acquire the abandoned tunnel from Boston & Maine Railroad. The town plans to incorporate the structure into the ongoing Mass Central Rail Trail multi-use path project, potentially putting an end to the tunnel’s status as a Haven for urban explorers and graffiti artists.

Know Before You Go

Park at the pull-off by the Wachusett Reservoir dam, and continue by foot northeast along route 62. There are the remains of a stone trestle on the right side of the road. Follow the trail to the right of the trestle. The tunnel is just up a small incline. The east end of the tunnel can be muddy and swampy, so waterproof boots are recommended. A flashlight is also recommended. Be careful in summer, the tunnel has standing water and thousands of frogs on the ground.

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