Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Peek Inside The Abandoned Montour Railroad Tunnel At Grimms Bridge in Columbiana County


 On April 17 some of the members of my very awesome crew and I decided to venture into the old abandoned Railroad Tunnel at Grimms Bridge.  It was an exciting adventure.
Joining me was Amanda and Jeremy Vantilburg and Dennis Martin Jr.

 Wearing chest waders, we walked into the tunnel, the plan being to go back as far as we could.  I was very surprised as to how far we got back into the tunnel.  You can see as you stand at the mouth that it curves to the left.  That curve is very deceiving.  It just does not give any credit to how large this tunnel really is.  
Jeremy and I ventured in first, with Jeremy leading the way.  He has a military background and just plowed forward!
At first it was difficult because there is a lot of garbage in the opening of the tunnel.  Cans.  Bottles.  Deflated rafts.  Tires.  Sticks and logs.  It is hard to walk through that, but after about twenty five feet, it clears up.
 Amanda and Dennis went in next.  They joked about snakes being in the water.  I didn't tell them something bumped into my leg when the water was up at my waist.  I couldn't see what it was, though Jeremy said it was probably a log.  I can only wonder since the water was too dirty to see for sure.
 The farther back we got the less light there was.  And the spookier it got!  We could hear drips and splashes in the distance but in the tunnel they sound like they are right there in front of you.  There is a fantastic echo at the mouth of the tunnel and also inside around you.
We chose to stay between the metal railings which are still inside the tunnel.
 At this point, the water is at your waist and you need a flashlight to see.  There is some garbage floating in the water and the dripping sounds are very loud.  If you are claustrophobic, this is about where it might start to kick in.  It is also very cold here.
 Jeremy lead the way and pointed out things under his feet to warn me about.  there is a large metal beam in the middle of the tracks we had to walk around, and also something like a pot hole as well.
 About every twenty five feet there is an indent n the side of the tunnel, and I believe this is what you would stand in if you were caught in the tunnel when  a train was going through.  They are on opposite sides of the tunnel every other one.
The camera I had just couldn't do this awesome view justice.  It just keeps going and going.  It is stunning to see!  And eerie as well.   It was at about this point that the ground below our feet changed from a solid form to a squishy, slippery form and this is where we stopped.
It was exhilarating to be in there seeing what was inside.  I can't  imagine what it was like when it was a working tunnel, but it would have been nice to see it.  It seems like such a waste, since so much of it is still in such good shape.  It is not what I thought it would be.  I was just so much more!
Finally, I had heard a few stories about an abandoned Railroad car being parked inside the tunnel.  I didn't see one anywhere.  Others I have talked to who have been inside with a boat say that the other end actually has a sort of beach that you can get out on and look around.  That is our next goal.  To make it to that beach.  Let you know when we do!

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

This does not have anything to do with the Montour Railroad. It was built by the Pittsburgh Coal Company and later operated by several other rail lines.

Kimberly Frazier Mitchell said...

If you did your research a little more closeley you would find that the Montour Railroad built the tunnel and later sold it to the P, L, and W Railroad Company.

Anonymous said...

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM8QF9_Grimms_Bridge_Tunnel_Columbiana_Co_Ohio

Unknown said...

I've been thow the train tunnle I know a lot about Grimms bridge I grew up running around out in Grimms bridge area n beaver creek I grew in e.l. if anybody like to know anything u can get of me just reply to this

Anonymous said...

great pics . . thanks for the memories . . . MANY years ago I was walking through that tunnel when a train entered from the Ohio River end. . . . I was sure this high-ballin' train was going to kill me!!! Thankfully I ran faster that the train (probably 5 mph LOL) . . . that tunnel was ALWAYS spooky . . . especially in the days of "D" cell batteries :) . . and NO flashlights :)

If I were younger, I would be in the boat with you :)

Unknown said...

Lol those are my deflated rafts you mentioned and the other end is just a beach type deal . And there are definitly no abandoned train cars in there

Anonymous said...

Tell Amanda to come visit me in Wisconsin sometime, I'll take you guys to some super awesome spots lol

Melodye Courter said...

Boat is the Best way to get into the tunnel.

Phillip Pack said...

In high school we bought cheap rafts from Walmart and paddled all the way back to where it caved in there is a bank you can get off and walk on. I remember seeing a fire pit and beer bottles some satanic writing on the walls along with normal graffiti and a dead beaver half eaten at the beginning

Lisa Richards said...

Something always drawls me back to that location every spring been going there for years I had a friend once that said he can since something there like a black shawdow of some sort watching over the land.

Lisa Richards said...

Something has been drawling me to that location for years been hiking threw those woods with friends since 2005. had someone once tell me he could since a black shawdow watching over the land.

Ron said...

I grew up just a few hundred yards from there and played in that tunnel for years. I ventured back in the winter time when the water was frozen to the point you couldn't see the light anymore. My dad and uncle took a canoe with lanterns to the end of the tunnel back in the late 70's. I don't remember them mentioning a train car in there but the did say that the end is closed with a lot of rocks and dirt.

Anonymous said...

I took rafts in as a kid. I'm not sure if it was caved in on purpose, but does stop at a large wall of dirt. There is room to get out where it caved, but the echo is the best thing about it.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME Thanks for sharing !!!!

William Rhodes said...

I've been all the way back in a canoe last April during a clean up of the area. Definitely pretty cool. It will soon be a part of a new bike trail if its found to be structurally sound.

William Rhodes said...

I've been all the way back in a canoe last April during a clean up of the area. It's 1800' feet long and will soon be part of a new bike trail if its found to be structurally sound.

William Rhodes said...

I've been all the way back in a canoe last April during a clean up of the area. Definitely pretty cool. It will soon be a part of a new bike trail if its found to be structurally sound.

Unknown said...

I've canoed all the way back before. Sadly no railcar. But there is a "beach" at the other end where they collapsed the other end of the tunnel.

lynchmasterflash said...

I have canoed all the way back. Sadly there is no railcar, but there is a "beach" at the other end where they collapsed it.

Anonymous said...

Montour railroad was a subsidiary of Pittsburgh coal had nothing to do with the tunnel it was built for the Pittsburgh Coal railroad,

Penny Schmidbauer said...

Hello, My name Is Penny Schmidbauer, I have lived down here in Grimms Bridge for 20 years now. I live close to the other end of the tunnel at the dead end on Stuart Rd. They are cleaning the tunnel out this year , I do believe and you will be able to come through it. At least I am hoping so. They are supposed to be draining it first. Any time that you guys want to take a raft from where you started you are always welcome to use ours. It is creepy at night time down here. You hear only the sounds of the wild. You can hear the trains blowing from clear down at the state live into Pa. U are welcome to camp some night in my yard and check it all out. anytime. Have a great day and thank you for the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with the last name vantilburg needs drowned in that tunnel

Anonymous said...

I dont care who built it sold it,get your ass back in there and send more pictures,damn it!!!!!!

Ryan Richard said...

I live less the 5 mins away from grims bridge and never knew that was there next time you go i would love to join

Ryan Richard said...

I live like 5 mins away from grims bridge and never knew that was there if you decide to ever go and check it out again I would love to be able to join you

Kimberly Frazier Mitchell said...

Penny Schmidbauer we would love to take you up on that! I am very interested in that area and the stories of the Blue Lady! I have heard also that some people have heard the phantom whistles of the trains that onced traveled the P,L, And W!

3OCALM1 said...

They have very recently dug out the closed end of the tunnel. That end never did collapse but was only covered by a landslide about 50 years ago so everything was still intact. The plan is to eventually turn the old trackbed into a bike and walking trail down to the Ohio River and the tunnel will be a part of it.
Here's a youtube video of the tunnel right after it was dug out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO7u7rP2WoU

3OCALM1 said...

They have very recently dug out the closed end of the tunnel. That end never did collapse but was only covered by a landslide about 50 years ago so everything was still intact. The plan is to eventually turn the old trackbed into a bike and walking trail down to the Ohio River and the tunnel will be a part of it.
Here's a youtube video of the tunnel right after it was dug out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO7u7rP2WoU

Bob Marshall said...

I was hiking in the area today and found that the tunnel is cleared out and open all the way through. There are notices posted at both ends by the Division of Forestry that the Beaver Creek State Forest Railroad Tunnel is closed to the public until further notice. Contact number 740 266 6021 or 419 424 5004. The tunnel is drained and clear at both ends. At the North end, there is some heavy equipment up on top of the entrance. I don't know if the are mining or cutting trees or something else.