Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

Dedicated to Sharing the Heritage of Redwood Empire Railroading

I recently purchased a number of videos from the NWPRRHS and have been enjoying them over the holiday break.  [Proceeds benefit the society, but it appears that they do a poor job of marketing them!  For example, today it took me a while just to find a link to their video catalog, which was buried under "Library"!]

Video #1115 is a slide show presented by Gus Campagna which shows then and now photos of many of the NWP's 40 standard gauge tunnels plus some of the tunnels on the narrow gauge line.

One interesting question raised by the slide show is the shape of the tunnel portals.  On many tunnels one portal will have a rounded arch while the portal at the other end is angled.  Recent photo examples from Brian Liddicoat:

Tunnel 14 South Portal (Rounded)

Tunnel 14 North Portal (Angled)

This doesn't appear to be a hard and fast rule, but from the slide show it is astonishing how many tunnels are constructed (or reconstructed) in this way.  Does anyone know why?

Perhaps all the tunnels were originally rounded, but when reconstruction was required the angled style was introduced.  This might be the most-likely explanation, but this mystery is most strikingly displayed in Gus' slide show and begs the question as to whether there another rationale for it.

Would love to hear from former NWP or Eureka Southern railroaders who might know something about this!

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