Side Quest: Brave the darkness of the Colemanville Church Road Tunnel

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The northern entrance to the Colemanville Church Road tunnel.

One of the approximately 80 beautifully constructed tunnels, culverts, and bridges that were constructed along the Enola Low-Grade Line. Most of these tunnels and culverts are completely hidden from view. Scores of people pass over them every day without ever knowing.

Inside the Colemanville Church Road tunnel.
Inside the Colemanville Church Road tunnel.

The Atglen & Susquehanna Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad (commonly referred to today as the Enola Low-Grade) is one of the greatest feats of engineering marvels in Lancaster County. The goal of this ambitious project? Create a low-grade railroad line with no slope steeper than one percent and no curve sharper than two degrees.

Easy on paper.
Difficult in reality.

Roughly 1,000 men and 150 horses were deployed to build it. Many were immigrants from Italy, Turkey, Syria, and other southeastern European countries taken directly from incoming boats to the Lancaster job site.

To learn more about the Enola Low-Grade and its history, click here.

Click here for the location of this tunnel near Colemanville Church Road

The southern entrance to the Colemanville Church Road tunnel.
The southern entrance to the Colemanville Church Road tunnel.
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Massive hand-cut stones at the northern entrance to the Colemanville Church Road tunnel.
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