Posted by xBNSFer on August 17, 2014 
Seems easier to add a second main track to that bypass rather than mess with the tunnel!
Posted by Nick Craven on August 17, 2014 
Every time I go through that tunnel I wonder why it even exists.
Posted by JerryE on August 18, 2014 
Surely this is the prototype for all those model railroads that have a tunnel because the owner "wants to have a tunnel for trains to go in and out of"! As others have said, why bother with the tunnel when there is obviously another cheaper route alongside?...
Posted by Brandon Smith on August 18, 2014 
While constructing another track outside of the tunnel would cost less, it unfortunately isn't feasible. Track 2 (the outside track) runs right up against National Park Service land for the C&O Canal, not allowing room for a second track. Back around 1830, this tight passage was a disagreement between the C&O Canal and the B&O, leading to litigation which eventually forced the B&O to build a tunnel. The canal closed in 1924 and before the land became a national park in 1971, the railroad expanded the existing roadbed into the canal to ease the outside curve. Harwood's book, "Impossible Challenge II", provides an excellent history of the B&O in this area.
Posted by Paul Bungard on August 19, 2014 
Posted by Bill Caywood on August 21, 2014 
For what it's worth, I own an ash tray made by Buffalo China. This ash tray was used in Chesapeake and Ohio dining cars on the "George Washington" trains that ran from Washington D.C. to Ashland, Kentucky where the train was split, with one section going to Cincinnati, Ohio and the other to Louisville, Kentucky. The ash tray reads Chesapeake and Ohio Lines with the L in lines centered on the tray. In script above is the wording George Washington's Railroad and also in script below the railroad name is Original Predecessor Company Founded by George Washington in 1785. Is it possible that portions of the C & O canal were converted to rail. I remember reading that canal boats were placed on early rail cars and pulled through tunnels to avoid building locks. Was the Predecessor Company mentioned on my ash tray the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The back of the ash tray, which would have been against the wood panel between the windows of the dining car, has a projection which rises vertically. The purpose of this would have been to hold a folded match book, visible on the front of this part of the match book holder is the profile of George Washington which was also on the front of the locomotives when the train was pulled by steam.
Posted by Brandon Smith on August 26, 2014 
Bill, from what I could find, the C&O Railway and the C&O Canal are completely unrelated. However, it looks like both of their upbringings have ties to George Washington. The C&O Canal has ties to the Potowmack Canal Company, who's first president was George Washington. The C&O Railway has ties to the James River Company, which was organized by George Washington. Thanks for the questions!
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