Around 3 p.m. on Oct. 2, 1925 — 90 years ago — engineer Tom Mason kissed his wife, left his home and walked to the corner of the block. For some reason, he turned around, went back to his house, and kissed his wife again. Then he headed to the Fulton Yards and climbed aboard locomotive No. 231 along with his fireman, Ben Mosby. He then released the break, opened the throttle and began to pull a string of 10 flatcars into the Church Hill Tunnel so that the construction workers could load them with dirt. The train was beneath Jefferson Park when a few bricks from the tunnel’s roof fell with a splash into pools of water on the tunnel floor. The falling bricks caused the electrical connections to break and the tunnel was thrown into darkness. As the workers began running out of the tunnel, 190 feet of the 4,000 foot tunnel collapsed onto the train.
See also: Route of the Church Hill train tunnel (3/9/2009)
PHOTO: VT Underground