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!