The Western and Central Shafts of the Hoosac Tunnel


Western Shaft

 The first thought of building the western portal began in March of 1859, but it was not until later months that construction would actually begin.The purpose of the western shaft was to dodge the weak demoralizing rock that made the construction on the Hoosac take such a drastic amount of time.  Hermann Haupt over saw the project and once construction was done in 1861 the final depth was 318 feet.

This is a photo of workers about to descended into the

Western Shaft of the Hoosac Tunnel

Central Shaft

 The Central Shaft of the Hoosac Tunnel hadn't always been an aspect of the construction. The purpose of this shaft was to ventilate the coal exhaust that was expected to be built up in the tunnel from locomotive traffic. In August of 1870, construction ended on the Central Shaft and the shaft at it entirety is 1028 feet deep and elliptical in diameter, the ellipse being 27 feet east/west, and 15 feet north/south. Workers were placed into large copper buckets and descended down the shaft to work. There were several accidents that occurred in these shafts and many of them turned out to be fatal to many miners.

This is a illustration of workers being decend through the Central Shaft


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Last Updated: April 29, 2008