Niagara Falls's secret tunnel

 Images Galleries Tailrace2 5
The Vanishing Point, a site dedicated to urban exploration and secrets of the built environment, has a page about the massive abandoned Tailrace tunnel at Niagara Falls. (The entire Vanishing Point site is mesmerizing, rich with great writing and fantastic photography.) Part of the decommissioned Toronto Power Co. hydroelectric plant, the tunnel is ten stories underground and only accessible through a hidden slit in the ceiling. From Vanishing Point:
Lying below a river that will relentlessly tear into the bedrock until all has been obliterated from Queenston to Erie, this tunnel thirty-three feet in diameter is imprinted into my being forever. A swirling army of red brick millions strong, the eye of a petrified hurricane leading us right into the centre of the stalled but fighting storm that is Niagara Falls. Standing in its back-blast, in a place far deeper and darker than any middling storm sewer, I breathed and drank from the fount of the universe and swam closer to its centre than I ever will again.
Link (via DIGG)

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  1. Growing up in Buffalo, NY I was able to ride The Maid of the Mist (many times) near the great cascade of Niagara – little did I know such a monster of a tunnel existed nearby. Wonderful! This will be news to my parents.

  2. That is pretty dang awesome. I wonder why the abandoned the station instead of upgrading.

  3. They beseige us with crummy museums and they don’t open this up to the public? There is no justice.

  4. I am [pause] impressed.

    You know you’re a long way from it all when there’s no graffiti anywhere in it. I’d watch a movie of this.

  5. If you’re ever in Niagara Falls, there is a tour, I think a tunnel (not this one), that goes under the falls. It’s totally amazing — tons and tons of water falling just a few feet from you. I missed out on the Maid of the Mists but I’m glad I got to go under the falls.

  6. I don’t know why, but the first thing I thought of when I saw that photo was a nasal cavity.

  7. This is what it looks like when traveling down the trachea where it splits into the two bronchi. Choose the left or right lung.

  8. So when the Niagara River does reach Erie, that’s when Lake Erie empties out into Lake Ontario all at once, right? That ought to flood the whole Mohawk Valley from Syracuse to Albany.

  9. It’s a beautiful tunnel, but that writing sounds like something out of a romance novel.

    :D

  10. Just to give an idea of how that could be changed to a romance novel:

    Lying below him as he relentlessly tore into my clothing until all has been obliterated from me except the feel or his hands and the warmth of his body, which is imprinted into my being forever. A swirling army of red thoughts and feelings, millions strong, the eye of a petrified hurricane leading us right into the centre of the stalled but fighting storm that is our passion. Standing in its back-blast, in a place far deeper and darker than any middling storm sewer, I breathed and drank from the fount of the universe and swam closer to its centre than I ever will again.

    You don’t even have to change that last sentence!

    :D

    /How’d I do?

  11. I’m fascinated by urban exploration. When I was younger, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles convinced me that every drainage pipe and access tunnel led to a secret underground city of abandoned subway stations, bomb shelters, and ancient civilizations.

    TLC ran a rather disappointing show along these lines – not nearly as cool as my 12 year old mind imagined.

  12. “great writing”?

    No, this is cheesy, melodramatic self-wanking. Great writing would be clear, would communicate to the reader, and make sense (and, as pointed out above, not sound like a cheap romance paperback.)

    Now the subject matter? Yeah, pretty impressive. Too bad the delivery was all I could notice as I tried to read it.

  13. I found a rather extensive write up about this on an urban exploration site a year or so ago, but I am not sure if it was the same people.

    From what I read, the guys were no bullshit. Getting into the tunnel involved sneaking past some guards (not really dangerous but still a bit risky), forcing or picking a lock or two, then setting anchor points and a vertical descent by rope into the tunnel.

  14. Steaming Pile, I believe that will depend on the topology of Erie’s lakebed. If I had a time machine, I’d go watch it, right after I watched Lake Agassiz cut the channeled scablands in Eastern Washington.

    Moon, Maximander, I have to disagree. The diction you get in bad romance novels is the bastard great-grandchild of the Romantic Sublime. What you’ve got there at the Vanishing Point is the thing itself. Have another go at reading it. You don’t see the real thing very often.

  15. I remember seeing these in a Speed Racer cartoon from waaay back. Anyone else watch that episode?

  16. Some time in the early 60s, my dad took me to see a movie that I think may well have been filmed in these tunnels. Some digging on IMDB reveals it was a National Film Board of Canada movie made in 1947 and directed by Leslie McFarlane, called “The Boy Who Stopped Niagara.” Anyone else seen it?

  17. amazing, i want to explore those tunnels…

    that being said, i immediately saw two mushy boobs when i scrolled down…

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