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Canal Boat

Allegheny Portage Railroad
Society: ASCEMain Category: CivilSub Category: Roads & RailsEra: 1830-1839DateCreated: 1834Hollidays burg to JohnstownDuncansvilleState: PAZip: 16635Country: USAWebsite: Private Contractors

In an era when roads and canals were the most common means of overland transportation, the Allegheny Portage Railroad provided a novel alternative. The railway carried fully-loaded canal boats over the steep grades of the Allegheny Mountain. The 36-mile system rose almost 2,300 feet above sea level at its summit - the highest level to which canal boats had ever been carried. The project included ten double-tracked inclined planes, powered by steam engines. Its 900-foot Staple Bend Tunnel, cut from solid rock, was the first railroad tunnel constructed in America.

Image Credit: Public Domain (National Park Service)Image Caption: The Staple Bend Tunnel, completed 1834 for the Allegheny Portage RailroadEra_date_from: 1834
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