Ossining Tunnel? (under Sing Sing)

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Ossining Tunnel? (under Sing Sing)

Postby NegativeApproach » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:28 am

Image

I found that diagram in an old book about concrete construction, dated from around 1906. Does anyone have any information on where the tunnel could have been, and how long it was? Any searches I've done for tunnels in Ossining invariably leads me only to Croton Aqueduct stuff.
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Re: Ossining Tunnel?

Postby RearOfSignal » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:43 am

Maybe by where the prison? There are walls on both sides similar to the diagram.
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Re: Ossining Tunnel?

Postby Noel Weaver » Fri Jan 22, 2010 2:57 am

There was a tunnel under Sing Sing at Ossining. I think it may have come out in the early 50's but please don't hold me to
that.
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Re: Ossining Tunnel?

Postby CarterB » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:10 am

This 1901 map clearly shows the tunnel/s at Sing Sing

http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/ ... +Ossining/
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Re: Ossining Tunnel?

Postby NegativeApproach » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:04 pm

Oh, I see it there. Very interesting.. thanks.
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Re: Ossining Tunnel?

Postby shlustig » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:20 am

There used to be a very short platform (1 double vestibule long) on the Tk. 3 side that was the prison stop that had a stairway going up to Sing Sing. IIRC, it was still there in the 1970's.
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Re: Ossining Tunnel?

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:47 am

shlustig wrote:There used to be a very short platform (1 double vestibule long) on the Tk. 3 side that was the prison stop that had a stairway going up to Sing Sing. IIRC, it was still there in the 1970's.


To add to this, I remember the New York Central issuing bulletin orders stopping trains at Sing Sing to let off or pick up
prison guards. I wish I had saved one of these old interesting items.
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Re: Ossining Tunnel?

Postby JoshKarpoff » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:06 pm

I spent 2007-2009 as an electrical engineer working for NYS OGS Design & Construction, who does all of the capital construction work for NYS DOCS facilities.
As part of my job, I had a lot of work going on at Sing Sing CF and spent a whole bunch of time inspecting ongoing work inside the perimeter.
I spent a lot of time in Albany sifting through the 8+ flat file drawers of Sing Sing's various construction drawings doing project research.
This is one of the interesting things I learned about while rummaging.
(Buy me a beer sometime and I'll tell you what else I found of historical interest in those drawers.)

Up until the 1950's the NYC main line on the Hudson ran through a tunnel under Sing Sing CF.
The NYC decided that it wanted to remove the roof over the tunnel to allow for higher clearance freight and less maintenance costs.
The state got the railroad to provide several bridges over the tracks in exchange for allowing the tunnel roof to be removed.
The drawings for the bridges were all done by the NYC's engineering staff and I assume that the NYC paid for the construction of the bridges.
This is how the facility got cut in two by the railroad.

The northernmost bridge is a pedestrian bridge that is outside of the secure perimeter, mostly allowing employees to walk to the train station or to the old powerhouse.
Moving southward, the next bridge is for utilities, mostly high pressure steam lines for heating, but also medium voltage electrical distribution feeder conduits.
The next bridge south is the secure pedestrian bridge crossing between the Main side (land side of the railroad) and the Tappan side (river side of the railroad).
The southernmost bridge is a vehicle bridge inside the secure perimeter, that allows the maintenance vehicles, shuttle buses and delivery trucks to move between sides without having to be reinspected.

The northern public pedestrian bridge is closed due to severe structural deficiencies.
I seriously cringe each and every time I take a train under that bridge.
The project to replace the bridge was designed and advertised for bid, but was yanked by DOCS the day of the bid opening.
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Re: Ossining Tunnel?

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:13 pm

Nice info Josh, thanks for sharing.

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Re: Ossining Tunnel? (under Sing Sing)

Postby JoshKarpoff » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:24 am

Glad to be of help.
I had been hoping to maybe find my great-grandfather, James F. X. Corcoran Sr., engineer's seal on the electrical drawings.
He was a senior power engineer for the NYC until the late 1950's, responsible for the power distribution engineering between Mott Haven and Harmon.
I haven't been able to locate any records of his work, but I do have his daily use railroad watch and his retirement railroad watch.

The pedestrian bridge replacement project, from a construction perspective, is a nightmare.
I read MNRR's requirements for the contractor and I really didn't see any way for the project to actually be done in the allotted time windows.
The documents I read stated that the railroad would only close all four tracks between 2AM and 5AM.
The crane wouldn't even be allowed to be erected before the 2AM closure, for fear of fouling the tracks.
I think that we were allowed to ask for either track 3 or track 4 to be closed for that stretch from like 9PM till 6AM for work on one side's pier's.
But only one side could be closed at a time.
Security, Structural and Electrical contract work on the span would all have to be done on premium time at night.

Now I understand MNRR engineering's concerns and requirements, I just don't see how this could be done within a vaguely reasonable budget.

The plans called for trying to remove the old bridge's span in one piece with at least 2 cranes.
Then the replacement bridge's span would be built on the ground and then lifted into place at night by two cranes again.

I was hoping to get stuck with the electrical designer support portion of this project so that I could get trained in the ROW safety course.
As this bridge has a lot of electrical conduits attached to the side of it, I would have needed to enter MNRR's ROW to inspect the work for contract compliance.
But thanks to the economic downturn, there's not tax money to spend on state infrastructure projects right now, so I'm out of a job and projects like this are on indefinite hold.
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Re: Ossining Tunnel? (under Sing Sing)

Postby RDL 879 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:49 pm

Interesting...I'd always thought the "wall"--the remnants of the tunnel at this location between Tracks 1 and 2 --was to slow down an escaped inmate... :-)
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