The Materials

Some old some new...... 

The Burleigh Tunnel Drill, invented by Charles Burleigh.


The Hoosac Tunnel And Its Mysteries

The History


Work Cited


Originally, the materials that were supposed to be used were a, "70-ton steam-driven boring machine."  This machine could cut a hole thirteen inches wide and twenty-four feet long.  After the machine had cut a circle into the tunnel, the laborers would use TNT and blow the remaining rock out of the way so they could keep moving forward.  The first attempt to start the tunnel failed.  When the construction of the tunnel first took place the materials consisted of guns and hand-drills, which meant a lot of work for the laborers.  This was the reason many of the miners died. 

After so many feet with the hand-drill, the tunnel would go no further.  It wasn't until Charles Burleigh invented the Burleigh Drill in 1866 that the tunnel's construction could continue.  For fifteen years the miners had to use lousy tools and dangerous explosives.  Once the Burleigh Tunnel Drill was invented, there were fewer losses of life.

The actual tunnel is made up of limestone, mica, slate with some quartz veins, and a little of feldspar is also found in the completed tunnel.   During the construction there was one Burleigh Drill  at the East and one at the West end of the tunnel.  Although the tunnel was supposed to be smaller in height, after construction they realized that the height was not quite big enough for supplies and sometimes over sized loads to fit through, therefore in 1997, there was an extra fifteen inches added to the height of the tunnel.  

Last Updated: May 14, 2008