Burton Tunnel: One of Indiana's Longest Railroad Tunnels (HI-03)
In the rugged, scenic hills of western Orange County, tracks of the old Southern Railway pass through Burton Tunnel, a 2,200-foot-long structure that was cut through shales and limestones of the Chester Group (Mississippian age) in 1907. The road and the tunnel were built to provide rail service to the thriving spas of West Baden and French Lick. From a valley elevation of 519 feet, the railroad rises gradually to its highest point of about 700 feet above sea level at the southwest end of the tunnel. Surface-water and ground-water runoff causes occasional collapse of rock at the western portal and erosion of ballast along the right-of-way. Damage is quickly repaired, for the trackage and the tunnel are now, after several years of abandonment, part of a busy tourist line between French Lick and Cuzco, 10 miles to the southwest. The railroad is a nonprofit system now operating under the name French Lick, West Baden & Southern Railroad.

Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: Historical


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