I first learned of the remains of the Trolley Tunnel from a PBS show called "The Lost Twin Cities" back in the 1990's. This tunnel was part of the Twin Cities Rapid Transit Company. There is a big controversy of the demise of the well established trolley in it's day, and apparently, according to the PBS show, this tunnel and the tracks are the only visible sign that there were train tracks for the trolley system. The rest of the tracks have been removed, buried under concrete or covered with black top.
I had wanted to visit this tunnel for quite sometime, but never made time to do it. Finally I made it this summer. They had built the tunnel because the grade on the hill was too steep for the trolley cars, so they lessened the grade to make it up the steep hill towards the Cathedral.
Any idea where the other end of the tunnel was/is? Do you know if the tunnel is still in existence (behind the current concrete barricade or if it has been filled?
Interesting bit of history.
On the PBS program, the end of the tunnel had bars to block entrance. Or something that looked like it was still open compared to the cement wall in the photo. How far could one go into it, it'd be cool to find out.
I've seen maps of the trolley system, but they are so small, it's hard to tell exactly where the tunnel emerged.
The trolley car system went from Minnetonka to Stillwater. It was an amazing system that was in place.
If you google "Twin Cities Rapid Transit", you can find additional history on the long forgotten company.
When I was a kid, it was very visible when driving by the Cathedral. After the interstate highways were built and the streets were re-routed, it became almost invisible, except for those who knew where to look.
Today, one can park on the curb behind the Hayden center, and walk right up to it. The concrete wall now has a door in it...wonder if some historic preservation is in the works?
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