Hoosac Tunnel East Portal

East Portal Hoosic Tunnel

Another visit to the Hoosac Tunnel east portal in Florida MA this past weekend. On this visit the tunnel had less diesel smoke from passing trains, so I was able to get a better photograph.
I was photographing the ruins of the nearby compressor building. The compressor building, while there isn’t much left to look at now, converted water power into compressed air to power drills used during construction of the tunnel. Previous to this drilling for setting explosives was done by hand.
The infrastructure that was required for the construction of the compressor building was significant, requiring daming the Deerfield River and constructing a long canal to provide the turbines with water to drive the compressors. In the end the water supply proved to be unreliable, so the compressors were converted to steam power.
I included some photographs from Jerry Kelley’s website, where he has a great overview of the history of the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel.

Compressor Building

Compressor Building

Compressor Building in ruin - date unknown

Go here to see Jerry’s pages on the compressor and canal.