The West Barretts Tunnel
Kirkwood, Missouri. December 31, 2004.
This is the east tunnel portal of the western Barretts tunnel. There are two tunnels approximately a quarter of a mile apart. The west tunnel sits on the Museum of Transportation's property. I believe also that the east tunnel is also owned by the museum, even though it cannot be accessed by the public. The east tunnel sits outside the museum's main grounds. Today the west tunnel is used to store miscellaneous railroad rolling stock. Visitors to the museum cannot go inside the tunnel as the east portal is fenced off.
The two tunnels were built as part of the Pacific Railroad's drive to build a line from St. Louis west to Kansas City, via Jefferson City. Both tunnels were built in the mid 1850's. The west tunnel is the shorter of the two tunnels and is about 410 feet long. The east tunnel is about 590 feet long. In 1929 concrete was used to rebuild the west tunnel's portals (US Dept. of the Interior).
United States Department of the Interior. (1978): n. pag. Missouri State Historical Preservation Office. Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Web. 14 Feb. 2015. <http://www.dnr.mo.go/shpo/nps-nr/78003138.pdf>.
Photo © Tom Gatermann.