Update of the Tip Top Tunnel

This article is shared (with permission) from a post from Adam Manns:

The Carver (Tip Top tunnel) is an abandoned railroad tunnel approximate 1,500 feet in length & located on the boundary between Magoffin & Breathitt counties..With the northern portal in southern Magoffin county,and the southern portal in eastern Breathitt county.The tunnel was approximately 25 feet tall by 25 feet wide,constructed in the late 1940’s & was lined with steel sets & timber lagging.In 2009 the tunnel burned,damaging the rock roof,timber lagging & steel sets.Berms comprised of soil & rocks were pushed up into the tunnel portals to block the ends of the tunnel from unauthorized access.An assessment performed in the Summer of 2014 indicates there is significant debris within the tunnel resulting from fire & subsequent roof falls.photographs of the portals & interior of the tunnel are attached to this note below.


The tunnel is part of an abandoned railroad line which is to be converted to a pedestrian,equine & mountain bike corridor as part of the  “Rails to Trails” program of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet..This project will involve scaling of loose material from above the portals,the cleaning out of debris (both rock & original liner) from within the tunnel & stabilizing the roof of the tunnel with rock anchors & welded mesh.Loose rock material from within the tunnel will be reused to the extent practical to construct the trail bed within the tunnel.All work will be performed from the North portal.This project will also require the installation of electric lighting within the tunnel,the construction of wooden canopies at the North & South portals,and the construction of approximately 2,000 feet of pedestrian trail on the abandoned railroad bed leading to the North tunnel portal.


Dawkins Trail – Tip Top Tunnel Rehabilitation

Inside south side..Breathitt side Inside south side..Breathitt side

Breathitt county side (south side) Breathitt county side (south side)

Magoffin county side Magoffin county side