The Bradshaw Mountains of central Arizona are rich in the history of the mining era. A century ago, to move ore from the mines at Walker, a branch line of the Prescott-Crown King Railroad was constructed between Poland (the present community of Breezy Pines) and the main line at Poland Junction. The present road follows the old railroad bed; at one point where the road curves around a ridge, this short but tall section of abandoned railroad tunnel still pierces the mountainside.
Train Tunnel -- This tunnel was constructed in 1902 and is about 200 feet in length. It was blasted through solid rock to allow the train to make the curve. The road you travel on today was originally the old railway bed for the train. Hundreds of tons of earth were used to construct the roadbed, most of which were moved with horse teams and back-breaking labor. The original road through this area followed Big Bug Creek, and area of much mining activity, but when the railroad went out of business in 1932, the road was re-routed to take advantage of the railway bed.
The tunnel is approximately 5 1/2 miles west of Highway 69 at Poland Junction, on the dirt Forest Road 261. At the time of my visit (May 1996), the road required a high clearance vehicle. Also at that time, a small TRAIN TUNNEL sign on the shoulder of the road pointed to the tunnel, but I cannot vouch for the present condition or accessibility of the site or the road.
Update May 2007:
Glenn K. wrote me that he visited the tunnel in April 2007 and had no trouble finding it, and you can still walk into the tunnel. Thanks Glenn!
Update February 2008:
Diana W. writes:
Just wanted to let you know we visited the Ghost Tunnel by Poland (now Breezy Pines) yesterday ... You are still able to walk inside but there is a lot of debris from the side of the mountain. With your directions of 5 1/2 miles from Highway 69, we were able to find it okay. There is no sign anymore and if you are not looking for the entrance, you could easily miss it as there are lots of trees in front now.