Abandoned Railroad Tunnels in Newtown, CT.

An interesting relic from yesteryear are the abandoned tunnels in Newtown, CT. Knowing my interest in abandoned railroads, a couple of friends, prompted me to schedule a day to visit and document the site.

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The tunnels—commonly referred to as the "Hawleyville Tunnel"—are located right off Paramlee Hill Road (Google Satellite View >) and can been seen using Bing's Birds Eye View >

Today in the area of the tunnels, a completely new rail line was built at a higher grade with a cut but the tunnels strangely still exist parallel and below the cut. The photos and map below illustrate the tunnels and railroad tracks both then and now.

The more southernly Housatonic Railroad Tunnel is a primitive "Rock Tunnel." NY&NE tunnel is concrete lined and runs under the current trackage at a diagonal.
1 2
Hawleyville Tunnels Map

Hawleyville Tunnel Historical Photos

Historic Photo 1 Historic Photo 2

Photo Trek - Dec 6th, 2014

Mark Lurie and John Shirley accompanied me on this trek. It was cloudy, misty, foggy and generally crappy outside but we were all psyched to explore nevertheless! Mark was a kindred spirit - extremely knowledgeable in local railroad history and exuberantly bounding into the tunnels as if a man possessed! :-) It was a great trek and when it suddenly started to pour for a bit, we found shelter in the rock tunnel!

hawleyville  mainline

- Housatonic RR Rock Tunnel -

Entering from the east of the bridge
hawleyville rocktunnel 1
hawleyville rocktunnel 2
hawleyville rocktunnel 3

At the other side
hawleyville rocktunnel 4

- NY&NE RR Concrete Tunnel -

This tunnel goes underneath the current mainline rock cut
hawleyville cementtunnel 1
hawleyville cementtunnel 2
hawleyville cementtunnel 4
hawleyville cementtunnel 3

- Overview of the ROWs -

Further westward, the old ROW curves a bit northward
Hawleyville RR

Emerging eastward from the NY&NE tunnel, the old ROW is a bit of a swampy mess
Hawleyville RR

A view from above the mainline on a small ridge looking down into the old ROW
Hawleyville RR

Climbing up Parmelee Hill you can get a nice view of the cuts...
Parmalee Hil

Lastly, climbing up to the tower at the top of Parmelee Hill...
gives you a great overview looking westward. It is hard to tell from this photo but you are at a good height!
Parmalee Hil Tower

Further Info

Photos


Hawleyville Tunnels | Tracing NY & NE RR | Tracing Shepaug RR Remnants | Newtown Railroad Details | Danbury and Harlem Trolley
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