Back to All Events

O&W High View Tunnel presented by Brook

  • Empire State Railway Museum 70 Lower High St Phoenicia NY Unitied States (map)

Sure to capture the attention of rail fans, railroad archeologists and historians alike, the final 2018 event of the “Besides The Tracks in the Historic Phoenicia Railway Station” series of presentations will be held on Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Featured speaker will be Rick Brooks, whose firm has surveyed many historical railroad beds in NYS and is an avid rail fan himself, gave a presentation at the Museum in 2014 on the History of the Fenwick Lumber Company which had been located on the southwest side of Hunter Mountain.

Mr. Brooks will present his talk and photographs about the 3800-foot-long O&W High View Tunnel which he is surveying in anticipation of its clearing and opening as a trail. He will follow the tunnel’s history through its inception during the formative years of the Midland, it’s reorganization as the O&W, through its abandonment in 1957, to today.

The High View Tunnel is also referred to as the Shawangunk, Bloomingburg and Bloomingdale tunnel, and has a storied past. It is the longest of the four tunnels servicing the 477-mile road. It not only surpasses the Fallsburg, the Hawks Mountain, and the Northfield tunnels in length, but also in engineering complexity. Being geologically challenged, it proved to be the most difficult to construct. The choice of Its location was a political lightning rod and is well-documented in the multiple newspapers of the time.

Mr. Brooks is a principal of Brooks & Brooks Land Surveyors of Highland, NY. His firm has surveyed portions of the many historical rail beds of New York State, including the Ontario & Western. His most recent survey assignment being the properties adjoining the East and West portals of the O&W High View tunnel. He is a long-time railroad buff, a former President of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad Historical Society, and he has offered presentations on the logging railroads in the Catskill Mountains.

A small reception will be held after the lecture and Rick will be available to answer your questions. There is no charge for this lecture or the reception after. Donations are always welcome to help us fulfill our mission of preservation and education.

The Empire State Railway Museum is located at 70 Lower High Street in Phoenicia, NY and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Catskill Mountain Railroad History. For more information you can visit or, or contact us at