West Portal of Kessler Tunnel/B140.5

West Portal of Kessler Tunnel/B140.5





Kessler Tunnel was constructed to allow the WM to cut through Tunnel Hill and by-pass numerous bends in the Potomac River. Kessler Tunnel has a length of 1843.3 ft., it is pretty much isolated, since there is a bridge at each end of the tunnel. The east portal of Kessler tunnel is in very bad shape, the worst I've seen on the WM. It is eroding away as a result of the water fall over top and to the right of the east portal. If it continues to be neglected as it has been since May 1975 it will soon be very unstable. But the right-of-way leading up to the east portal like most of the abandoned right-of-way is in great shape just tall grass and a few soft spots. The west portal unlike the east portal is in excellent condition. There is a water fall on this side too over top the portal on rainy days but it has not started to erode yet at all. The cut leading up to the tunnel is cut out of rock and is very steep. However today the cut is grown up with tall trees. There was a telephone box at each end of the tunnel and a train-order office at the west portal. Today the remains of the office is under a fallen WM power pole.


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A early WM train exits the west portal of Kessler Tunnel. The Potomac bridge is just ahead, notice the safery rails in the middle of the track for the bridge.

A long rocky cut leads to the west portal of Kessler Tunnel. In April of 2003 leaves cover the ground of the cut.

This is down in the steep rock cut looking back west then east towards the tunnel portal. (4/30/97)

This is WM's west portal of Kessler Tunnel. There is usually a waterfall coming off the top right side of the tunnel but it was very dry that week. The second shot is looking into the water-filled tunnel from the west portal. The water can easily be drained by redigging the drainage ditches along the side of the right-of-way. The ditches have been filled in with shale over the years from falling rock. (4/30/97)



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