Gallitzin in Cambria County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Gallitzin Tunnel was an engineering triumph and an essential step in conquering the steep grades of the Allegheny Mountains by railroad. Combined with the Horseshoe Curve, the Gallitzin Tunnel made the idea of a Pennsylvania mainline railroad a reality. Construction began on the first Gallitzin Tunnel in 1849 under the direction of Engineer Thomas Seabrook and Contractor Thomas Rutter. The work was done by four hundred Irish immigrants, from County Cork.
During construction progress was plagued by such problems as water and an unstable four foot vein of coal surrounded by weak shale and clay. Eventually almost the entire tunnel needed to be arched for safety.
Upon its completion on January 21, 1854 the Gallitzin Tunnel was the final link in completing the Mountain Division of The Pennsylvania Railroad. With the addition of a second tunnel in 1904 the mainline rail system was expanded to four tracks to Pittsburgh.
Twice the Pennsylvania Mainline railway was threatened because of its crucial role in the transportation of troops, supplies and materials for the defense of our nation. During the Civil War a Confederate raid plotted unsuccessfully to destroy the tunnel. During World War II, a clandestine German mission had plans to destroy the tunnels, but the operation failed when the German agents were captured
Tunnels Built......1854 and 1904
Cost........$125.00 per linear foot
Location. 40° 28.919′ N, 78° 33.083′ W. Marker is in Gallitzin, Pennsylvania, in Cambria County. Marker is at the intersection of Convent Street and Jackson Street, on the right when traveling east on Convent Street. Touch for map. Marker is at the park overlooking the Gallitzin Tunnels. Marker is at or near this postal address: 411 Convent Street, Gallitzin PA 16641, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stephen Tyng Mather (approx. 1.6 miles away); Summit Level Historic Area (approx. 1.7 miles away); Railroad Stone (approx. 1.7 miles away); Levels (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Lemon House (approx. 1.8 miles away); Skew Arch Bridge Trail (approx. 1.8 miles away); Engine House No. 6 (approx. 1.8 miles away); Allegheny Portage Railroad (approx. 1.8 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Gallitzin Tunnels Park and Museum. (Submitted on February 11, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Photos of Motive Power at Gallitzin Tunnels. (Submitted on February 11, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. PRR N5c Cabin Car Information (Submitted on February 11, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Gallitzin Tunnels. (Submitted on February 11, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 11, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 734 times since then and 92 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week January 21, 2018. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on February 11, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.