The Allegheny Portage Railroad had many unique features. The Staple Bend Tunnel, the first railroad tunnel in America, was one of these many features. Today, visitors have the option to see this amazing feat of engineering.
The Staple Bend Tunnel is located in Mineral Point, PA, not far from Johnstown, PA, and about a 30 minute drive from the main park unit. Visitors park at the Staple Bend Tunnel Trailhead and can walk or bike the two miles to the tunnel. The trail itself was a short section of the Allegheny Portage Railroad's Level No. 2. On the way to the tunnel, the visitor can see many original sleepers-the railroad ties for the level sections-along the trail. Sleepers were stone blocks cut and quartered. Just imagine all the hard work that it took to create those sleepers.
After a 2-mile hike or bike, the visitor comes around a curve and there is the Staple Bend Tunnel. The tunnel is still impressive after all these years. The tunnel itself is 901 feet long and was built by Irish workers. The visitor can walk through the tunnel. Bring a flashlight for close up inspection of the tunnel wall. Visiting the Staple Bend Tunnel is an awesome experience!