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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Afton in Nelson County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel

National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark

 
 
Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 9, 2021
1. Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Marker
Inscription.  The Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel, 4,273 feet in length, was the longest railroad tunnel in North America when constructed in 1849-1858. Irish and enslaved craftsmen and laborers excavated the tunnel using hand drills and black powder. Chief Engineer Claudius Crozet designed a singular elliptical cross-section for the tunnel to minimize rock removal. Its slope from west to east presented challenges for drainage and ventilation. Crozet developed unique solutions to these problems encountered during its construction. In April 1858 the first train traveled the Blue Ridge Tunnel, which remained in use for over 85 years. The demands of larger locomotives and World War II freight traffic necessitated its replacement in 1944.
 
Erected 1976 by American Society of Civil Engineers.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansIndustry & CommerceLandmarksRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks series list. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1858.
 
Location.
Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 9, 2021
2. Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Marker
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38° 1.812′ N, 78° 51.167′ W. Marker is in Afton, Virginia, in Nelson County. Marker is on Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail 0.6 miles west of Afton Depot Lane, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 723 Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail, Afton VA 22920, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Laborers (approx. 0.2 miles away); Flight of Richard C. duPont (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rockfish Gap Meeting (approx. 0.2 miles away); Greenwood-Afton Rural Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nelson County / Augusta County (approx. ¼ mile away); Rockfish Gap (approx. ¼ mile away); The Blue Ridge Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away); Welcome to Shenandoah National Park (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Afton.
 
The east entrance of the Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 9, 2021
3. The east entrance of the Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on April 11, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 11, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. An image of the east entrance of the tunnel on a clear day. • Can you help?

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May. 14, 2021