Big Savage Tunnel/B187






Big Savage Tunnel is WM's 2nd. longest tunnel with a length of 3,294.6ft. Indigo Tunnel, east of Little Orleans is WM's longest at 4,350ft. Big Savage Tunnel is 2 miles east of the summit of the Alleghenies at Deal. It was the only tunnel on the Connellsville Sub that was not bored for double track, as were Brush, Borden, and Pinkerton Tunnels.

A friend who used to drive the WM after abandoment told me two stories about Big Savage Tunnel. The first being driving west in the tunnel on the ballast just after the rails and crossties were pulled. All of a sudden here drove up on crossties and nearly lost control, then he hit rail that was left in place. He had to back out of the tunnel. The second time he was doing the same thing much later after the crossties and rail were gone. He met another fella driving east in the tunnel. He was not as far in as the other guy and had to back out of the tunnel and let the guy pass. After continuing thru the tunnel he drove out the west end to find a farmer standing on the right-of-way with a shotgun. The farmer told him to get off his land, that he was not allowed here. The farmer must have been making moonshine or something similar.

Big Savage Tunnel was recently rebuilt with an intirely new waterproof lining and lighting system. It will become part of the Allegheny Highlands Trail that will run from Pittsburg to Cumberland. This trail is also known as the Great Allegheny Passage.


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A great video from http://wqed.org/ on the restoration of Big savage Tunnel. Please go to there site and express how great the video is. thanks, J. Cooper




Looking west at the east portal of Big Savage Tunnel from about the switch at Colmar. When this photo was taken the line was out of service. (1977, Don Biggs photo)

WM's East Portal of Big Savage Tunnel after abandonment. The tunnel was then renovated and is now in use by the Allegheny Highlands Trail. The wood covers a section of the tunnel but when removed the tunnel still appears as it did when first constructed. (unknown photographer)&(11-7-04)

Its July 21, 1952 and WM Challenger No 1204 emerges from the west portal of Big Savage Tunnel. Next comes a mid-train helper that seems to have been working much harder due to the black smoke. (Bill Price photos)

Two photos by unknown photographers of the west portal of Big Savage Tunnel. the first during construction and the second of the water damage and cave in that was repaired during the tunnels renovation.

Photo taken of the west portal in 2004 of the recently restored Big Savage Tunnel before use as the Allegheny Highlands Trail. (11-7-04)

F7 No.63 exits Big Savage Tunnel in 1972. (Tom Biery photo)

The WM crossed a small stream just west of Big Savage Tunnel. (5-17-05)

An old photo dated 7-26-17 shows the small bridge just west of the culvert and Big Savage Tunnel. The WM had a bridge across what was once a road. The road or trail as it appears today is shown on the map above, but cannot be traveled by any vehicle. (Thanks to Mike Yetter and Warren Hart for photo)&(11-7-04)

The old bridge number can be seen still painted in the concrete. This is bridge 1883 meaning at the B188.3 milepost. (11-7-04)

An old WM signal base is on the right of the photo. The bridge over the old road is in the distance. (11-7-04)

The WM passes this farm just west of Big Savage Tunnel. (11-7-04)




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