Taft Railroad Tunnel

Providence and Wooster Railroad Tracks • Quinebaug River • Lisbon, CT • New London County

Historical Significance

This tunnel was dug by Irish railroad workers as part of the Norwich and Worcester Railroad. It allowed the line to hug the river as it worked its way through northeastern Connecticut. Work on the tunnel required Irish laborers equipped with picks and shovels to slowly chip their way through solid rock in order to create the passageway. The tunnel was completed in 1837 and remains the nation's oldest railroad tunnel still in use.

Photo: View west showing entrance to Taft Tunnel. (connecticuthistory.org)

Photo: View west showing interior of Taft Tunnel. (ctexplorers.com)


"Taft Tunnel, Lisbon," Exploring Forgotten Connecticut
[ view source ]

Karmazinas, Lucas, The Irish in Connecticut, Historic Resource Inventory, 2014.


Railroad tunnel approximately 300 feet long, 23 feet wide and 18 feet high through solid rock. The rough-hewn rock surfaces of the entrances and interior of the tunnel are unchanged since its construction.

Additional Information

Date(s):  Built 1837

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