This is the Oak Mountain Tunnel, which is a little north of the Coosa Tunnel. They were built at the same time, finished in 1888, so they probably look similar. Did you know that this one is supposedly where the contest between John Henry and the steam driver took place?
I live almost on top of this tunnel. It goes under Dunavant Mtn. and the Coosa goes under Vandiver Mtn. For a few years they didn't use this rail and I would go to and from Leeds on my dirt bike through this tunnel and over the long trussel as you come into Leeds.I've always heard the John Henry story but haven't found any proof. It is also rumored to hae a bomb shelter in the side about half way through but haven't found anything like that. Never heard the haunted stuff....don't no anything about that.
Windburn is a name only used by the Railroad. Nothing in this area uses this name, it is known as Dunavant now and the only sign on the tracks itself says "oak" about 50 Yrds before you enter the tunnel.
What is the easiest way to get to the Oak Mtn tunnel? I'm researching the John Henry story for my upcoming book. Parts of the area look pretty steep. I'd love to take some photos.
We parked near the base of the power transmission tower on the north side and walked across to the cut, climbing down where the sides were about 5 feet high. We did not go through the tunnel to the south side and did not see an easy way to get there.
There is no real evidence, but here's quite a convincing theory that supports this being the place where the John Henry event took place:
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Photo taken in Shelby County, AL, USA
Misplaced? Suggest new location