The Longest Tunnel In Illinois Has A Truly Fascinating Backstory

Constructed in 1888, The Winston Tunnel played a pivotal role in the railroad history of Illinois. At 2,493 feet long, it was the longest railroad tunnel in the state at the time, becoming part of the Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad line that connected Chicago to other the major midwest cities of Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Omaha. Today, the tunnel is closed but you can take a hiking trail that leads to it at the Winston Tunnel State Natural Area, a 230-acre preserve in Galena.

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Although Winston Tunnel was the longest tunnel in Illinois for many decades, two longer tunnels were later built along the Illinois Central (now Canadian National) Edgewood Cutoff Line. The longest tunnel is referred to as Tunnel #2 and it is still in use. But Winston Tunnel has played a key role in the history of train travel in the state of Illinois.

Have you hiked to Winston Tunnel?

Address: 2641 W Blackjack Rd, Galena, IL 61036, USA