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.


View Larger Map


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 abandoment. 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)

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.

Bill Price has caught a WM Challenger as a mid-train helper coming out the West Portal of Big Savage Tunnel. Must have been a smokey trip thru the tunnel as a helper or pusher back in the steam days. Second photo is the restored Big Savage Tunnel before use as the Allegheny Highlands Trail. (11-7-04)

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)




Go West
Go East