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Old December 22nd, 2014, 11:21 PM   #1
verreme
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Railways turned into roads

Does your country have any road that used to be a railway? There are many of them around the world, mainly tunnels, but also full alignments. Let's see if we can list some. The ones I know:

Italy

"Strada delle Gallerie", in Liguria, is a 9-kilometer long former railway that's been turned to a road. It features several long tunnels. Traffic is one-way, and it's regulated by traffic lights.

Street View

There seems to be little information on the history of this road in the Internet; perhaps some Italian forumers could help.

France

"Tunnel du Prado-Carénage" in Marseille was built in the 19th century as a railway tunnel for freight trains going from Prado station to the port of the city. In the 1990s, it was refurbished and turned into a double-decker road tunnel. It's 2.4 kilometers long and has a funky decor inside.



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Tunnel du Roux, in Ardèche department, was built between 1911 and 1929 to be used by a railway that was never completed. It's now part of D160 road. At 3.3 kilometers, it's one of France's longest tunnels.

Street View

Spain

In 1908 a company named Compañía de los Ferrocarriles Suburbanos de Málaga (FSM) opened a railway between Málaga and Vélez-Málaga. It was dismantled in 1968, and a short stretch briefly hosted the Eastbound carriageway of N-340:



(photo courtesy of forum user miliar, source)

Picture may have been taken here, but I'm not sure about it. The road is now MA-24 autovía, and the old railway/road is now a pedestrian walkway.

The next one was never used as a road. Officially. Unofficially, it was quite a popular mountain pass when the "regular" road was blocked.

Túnel de la Engaña is a 7-kilometer long tunnel that took 17 years to build, starting shortly after the Spanish Civil War, and was meant to be part of a railway to connect the Spanish Mediterranean Coast with the Cantabric one. However, like many other megalomaniac railway projects of the same era, it was cancelled way after construction has started due to it being deemed unprofitable, and the tunnel was left abandoned. During some years, it was used by trucks in winter when nearby Puerto del Escudo mountain pass was impassable. It never wore a road number, though. The roof collapsed some years ago somewhere in the middle of the tunnel, so it's now useless. For about 40 years, it was Spain's longest tunnel.

Chile

Túnel Las Raíces was built between 1930 and 1940. It was intended for it to be used by a railway linking the Atlantic and the Pacific, but this project was never completed. The only stretch of the railway that was actually built used the tunnel for some time, and after its demise it was dismanteled and refurbished for vehicular use only. Wikipedia says it carries 450 vehicles per day, which is quite a lot of traffic for such a remote region. At 4.5 kilometers long, it's Latin America's fourth longest road tunnel.

I guess there must be many more around the globe -and many of us would be very happy to learn something about them
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 11:26 PM   #2
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The Netherlands built a lot of regional railroads in the 1910-1920s and many were shut down by the 1930s because they were unprofitable and bus transport was cheaper.

Several roads were built over former railroads, but it is almost impossible to identify them as such if you don't known the particular history.

Off the top of my head, N348 Raalte - Ommen and N387 Kolham - Siddeburen were built directly across a former railroad.

In Dallas, Texas, the Dallas North Tollway was build across a former railroad, which is seen in its narrow right-of-way.
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 11:37 PM   #3
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The Pennsylvania Turnpike was built, in part, on a railroad right-of-way. The railroad never opened, though. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsyl...rnpike#History
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 11:46 PM   #4
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Nakło nad Notecią, Poland - railway bridge turned to a road bridge: https://maps.google.pl/maps?q=nak%C5...163.81,,1,3.25
It has currently been demolished and a new road viaduct is being built.

Here a new alignment of DW627 is being build along the dismantled railway: https://maps.google.pl/maps?q=nak%C5...2,132.7,,0,3.4
This railway used to serve the nazi extermination camp in Treblinka. (Also note the concrete road - it was constructed by Germans during WW2 and has not been overhauled since then )

Here - a railway turned into a bike path: https://maps.google.pl/maps?q=go%C5%...120.03,,0,6.61
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 11:53 PM   #5
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One section of H9 in Switzerland was the last single track section of the Simplon railway to be doubled, in 2004: https://maps.google.ch/maps?saddr=Zu...p=1&sz=17&z=14

Tunnel de Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines alias Tunnel Maurice-Lemaire in France was initially built as a rail tunnel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel_Maurice-Lemaire

Many regional railways/interurban tramways were built on the side of roads, and when these railways closed, their right-of-way was used to widen the road.

Some others were converted to bike paths, with a clearly visible rail origin: https://maps.google.ch/maps?q=Sanrem...,259.04,,0,0.6

Quote:
Originally Posted by verreme View Post
"Strada delle Gallerie", in Liguria, is a 9-kilometer long former railway that's been turned to a road. It features several long tunnels. Traffic is one-way, and it's regulated by traffic lights.
Some photos can be seen here: http://www.stagniweb.it/Foto6.asp?Fi...index&Righe=30 ("Tutte le foto su un'unica pagina" puts them all in a single page)
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 12:22 AM   #6
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The Netherlands
A large part of the former Marne Railroad Line (Marnelijn) in the province Groningen is now provincial road N361.


Location of the Marnelijn (black), superimposed on the current map. Between Abelstok (wooded area west of Mensingeweer) and Ulrum, the provincial
road (N361) was built on the route of the Marnelijn.

Source: wikimedia commons


Short history
Until the 31st of March 1922, people transport Winsum <-> Zoutkamp was done by horse drawn trams. On April 1st 1922, the railroad Winsum-Zoutkamp was openend. The total lenght of this railway was 18,7 kilometer. The stations of the villages at the line were all built in the same fashion.


Wehe-Den Hoorn trainstation, demolished. Source: www.marnegebied.nl ... Leens trainstation, still exists as a police station. Source: www.marnegebied.nl


Road traffic at that time was still using the old medieval roads, winding through the centers of the villages.
In 1938 the railroad was closed, and a busline took over passenger transport. During the Second World War however, petrol became scarce, so the
railroad was put back in use as passenger transport again. This lasted only two years, in 1942 the rails were pulled out by the Germans,
and transported to the eastern front.

After the war, car usage increased magnificently in this part of the Netherlands, making the old network of roads outdated. So a new provincial road
between Winsum and Zoutkamp, the N361, was partly built on the course of the old railroad tracks.

The remnants of the demolished railroad are still visible at some places. Notably the secundary road between Mensingeweer and Wehe-den Hoorn features a strange hump in the flat landscape: this was the place the railway crossed the old road. Also, the abbutments of a railroad bridge are visible nearby.

Source: wikimedia commons
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 12:36 AM   #7
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The Overseas Highway (US 1) in the Florida Keys runs on the former Overseas Railroad right of way connecting Key West to the Mainland. The railroad was converted into a roadway after a hurricane in 1935 destroyed the railroad infrastructure. You can even see the old railroad bridges on many parts from the newer roadway.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Railroad https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Highway

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Old December 23rd, 2014, 01:34 AM   #8
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North-East Italy: those marked in red were build as railways before WWII but they were never completed. They were rebuild into roads in the 1970s. Notice the very straight allignments.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.

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Old December 23rd, 2014, 01:42 AM   #9
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About the "Strada delle Gallerie" in Liguria: the Genoa-Pisa railway was completed in 1874 and in the 1920s a section of it was moved from the coast to the immediate interior. The former track was converted in a road.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.

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Old December 23rd, 2014, 04:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kemo View Post

Here a new alignment of DW627 is being build along the dismantled railway: https://maps.google.pl/maps?q=nak%C5...2,132.7,,0,3.4
This railway used to serve the nazi extermination camp in Treblinka. (Also note the concrete road - it was constructed by Germans during WW2 and has not been overhauled since then )
I like how you can see the tracks in the dirt on the side, people are thinking, maybe the random dirt is better than the pavement
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 10:01 AM   #11
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Bypass of Kluczbork, Poland is former railroad.
https://www.google.pl/maps/@50.96764...Bviw!2e0?hl=pl
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 10:03 AM   #12
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The Sulitjelma Line railway to road conversion, Norway



http://goo.gl/maps/NSil1



The construction of the Sulitjelma Line railway began in May 1891 when the mining company in Sulitjelma decided to build a railway between Sjønstå and Fossen. The line was the first in Northern Norway. The mining products were then transported by barges on the lakes. In 1953, work began on extending the line from Sjønstå on the lake Øvrevatnet all the way to Finneid on the coast of the Skjerstadfjorden in the town of Fauske. The new extension would connect the line to the main Nordland Line in Fauske. The reason for the extension was that the lake barge transport had difficulties in the winter.

Due to the mountainous terrain, three tunnels were built, Grønnlifjell Tunnel, Hårskolten Tunnel and Sjønståfjell Tunnel, each with a length of 2,400 to 2,800 metres (7,900 to 9,200 ft). Operation of the line all the way to Finneid started in December 1956. Another new tunnel through the small Stokkviknakken mountain was opened on 30 November 1962. After this, the railway had a total length of 35.8 kilometres (22.2 mi).

The Sulitjelma railway line was closed down in 1972. The tracks were removed and the former trackbed was converted into a roadway, nowdays Norwegian county road 830. In 1991, all mining in Sulitjelma was stopped as the costs of extraction became greater than the value of the ore on the market. The remaining ore deposits still constitute the largest known deposit of copper in Norway.



The northern entrance to the Grønnlifjell Tunnel.

Info and pics from Wikipedia.
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 01:03 PM   #13
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In Bosnia and Herzegovina the old East Bosnian Railway - narrow gauge - is used for the M5 (unpaved) between Prača and M19-3 near Rogatica: https://goo.gl/maps/pU8Wm



http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/M5_(Bos...nd_Herzegowina)
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnische_Ostbahn
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrow_...osnian_railway
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 01:11 PM   #14
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In Alaska, the McCarthy Road uses the trackbed of the Copper River and Northwestern Railway, which was disbanded after the copper mining activities in Kennicott stopped. Quite a worthy drive, BTW!
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 03:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by verreme
Italy

"Strada delle Gallerie", in Liguria, is a 9-kilometer long former railway that's been turned to a road. It features several long tunnels. Traffic is one-way, and it's regulated by traffic lights.

There seems to be little information on the history of this road in the Internet; perhaps some Italian forumers could help.
You can find some photos here



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Old December 23rd, 2014, 03:30 PM   #16
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Italy

The Cremona–Iseo railway between Sesto Cremonese and Farfengo.

https://maps.google.it/maps?ll=45.18...83.22,,0,-0.64

https://maps.google.it/maps?ll=45.19...p=12,2.69,,0,0

https://maps.google.it/maps?ll=45.20...,357.2,,0,2.83

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Old December 23rd, 2014, 03:38 PM   #17
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Italy

The Piacenza–Bettola railway between Ponte dell'Olio and Bettola.

Riva station

Biana station

Recesio station

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Old December 23rd, 2014, 03:39 PM   #18
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Mellersta Östergötlands järnväg (Middle Östergötland railroad)

Mellersta Östergötlands Järnväg (The Middle Östergötland Railroad) was a narrow-gauge railroad in use from 1897 until 1964. The rail remained in place far longer than that, and I think there are some parts were the rail is still in place.

It was electrified during the years 1908-1921, quite unusual for a privately-owned railway with narrow gauge.

The part Klockrike-Österstad (via Fornåsa) was converted to road, and part of the stretch north of Linköping was used when riksväg 36 (now 34) was built.


Fornåsa station in 1920.


Show in red is the former railway, in blue parts converted to road, and in yellow rail still used today.


Google Maps. More info (in Swedish). Wikipedia (in Swedish).
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 04:47 PM   #19
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There are three locations in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The first is Florence St in the community of Midway. The road follows the former VV&E railgrade from the village for some distance, before it heads off to the local dump, just before a tunnel.

Just west of the community of Keremeos, Ashnola Rd runs atop the railgrade of the same, former railway. On this road, is the famous local landmark, the Red Bridge which is the former railway bridge, now a road bridge. It was threatened with demolition when it needed major repairs to keep it open for traffic, but residents vigorously protested. The bridge was thoroughly repaired and restored.

http://goo.gl/maps/YJkgf

Lastly, The Crow's Nest Highway runs atop a former CP Railway alignment est of the Village of Elko. CP relocated to the opposite side of the river in the 50s (better alignment and reduction in grade) and, in 1957, the Provincial government used the former grade to build the highway. the tunnel was widened to accommodate two way traffic.
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Old December 24th, 2014, 02:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riiga View Post
Mellersta Östergötlands Järnväg (The Middle Östergötland Railroad) was a narrow-gauge railroad in use from 1897 until 1964. The rail remained in place far longer than that, and I think there are some parts were the rail is still in place.
A lot of the railway embankment from Linköping to Motala/Fågelsta/Ringstorp is still there. Some parts of it are private dirt roads other parts are public gravel roads. I drove the whole stretch from Linköping to Klockrike on a moped. It's not recommended to drive on private roads as I did.






Old railway embankment at Vårdsberg, Linköping
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