The Turn Hole Tunnel is an abandoned tunnel bored by the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad near Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.
When the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad (L&S), a subsidiary of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company, extended its mainline from White Haven to Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) through the Lehigh Gorge in 1866, 1 it crossed the Lehigh River at the Turn Hole, a deep eddy where the river made a sharp turn at the base of a high cliff 2 known as Moyer’s Rock. 3 The L&S bored a dual-track tunnel 496 feet in length under Moyer’s Rock. 5
The L&S was leased to the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CNJ) in 1871. 4
The Turn Hole Tunnel was condemned in 1910 because of ongoing rock falls. 6 The railroad began work to bypass the tunnel in 1911, grading a new alignment parallel with the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and it opened to through traffic in 1912. The original two tracks in the tunnel were kept intact and used as a passing siding until 1956 when they were abandoned.
The CNJ mainline through Lehigh Gorge was abandoned in late 1956 and later repurposed as the Lehigh Gorge Trail. 4
- State: Pennsylvania
- Route: Turn Hole Tunnel
- Type: Tunnel
- Status: Abandoned / Closed
- Total Length: 496 feet
- LC&N records, Pennsylvania State Archives MG311.
- Gordon, Thomas Francis. A Gazetteer of the State of Pennsylvania. Thomas Belknap, 1832,. 326.
- Allen, Richard Sanders. Covered Bridges of the Middle Atlantic States. Stephen Greene Press, 1959, p. 28.
- Taber III, Thomas T. Railroads of Pennsylvania Encyclopedia and Atlas. Thomas T. Taber III, 1987, p. 308.
- Drinker, Henry Sturgis. Tunneling, explosive compounds, and rock drills. John Wiley & Sons, 1893, p. 1086.
- “Railway Construction.” Railway Age Gazette. 51 (5): 269. 4 Aug. 1911.