Union Pacific Tunnels in Nevada

by Ken Humphreys

While driving across Nevada on I-80, I went through a tunnel and upon coming out on the East side I saw some rail cars stored on a siding and a place I could safely pull off of the road to take pictures. When getting out of our motorhome to take some pictures and looking back westward, I realized that the mountain we had just passed through had four tunnels through it, two for the Interstate highway and two for the Union Pacific Railroad. The tunnels were very far apart and I could not include them all in one photo so I took two shots and merged them into one wide angle picture. The location is approximately at milepost 286.5 between Elko and Carlin, NV. This was in mid-September 2009 and conditions were very dry. Depicted below is the composite photo of the four tunnels, a Google Earth aerial view (at a time when the dry wash between the two UP tracks was anything but dry) and a shot of some of the cars stored on one of the tracks in this rather desolate section of track. As the Google Earth photo shows, the two UP tracks are spaced fairly wide apart, one on each side of the wash. The place I stopped can be seen in the aerial photo on the south side of I-80 where an access road to the tracks enters the pull-off area beside the highway.

Composite photo of the four tunnel entrances.

Google Earth aerial view of the site showing both the East and West side tunnel entrances and the two Union Pacific tracks.

Cars stored on the southern track.

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