Quitaque Railway Tunnel

The Quitaque Railway Tunnel or Clarity Tunnel is a 582 feet (177 m) abandoned railway tunnel in Floyd County, Texas about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Quitaque. Construction started in 1927, and the tunnel and associated railway line were completed and opened for use in 1930. The tunnel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977,[1] and was designated a Texas State Antiquities Landmark in 2003.[2]

Quitaque Railway Tunnel
Quitaque Railway Tunnel is located in Texas
Quitaque Railway Tunnel
Quitaque Railway Tunnel
Quitaque Railway Tunnel is located in the United States
Quitaque Railway Tunnel
Quitaque Railway Tunnel
Nearest cityQuitaque, Texas
Coordinates34°14′34″N 101°7′17″W / 34.24278°N 101.12139°W / 34.24278; -101.12139 (Quitaque Railway Tunnel)Coordinates: 34°14′34″N 101°7′17″W / 34.24278°N 101.12139°W / 34.24278; -101.12139 (Quitaque Railway Tunnel)
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built1928 (1928)-1930 (1930)
Built byFort Worth and Denver Railway
NRHP reference No.77001442[1]
TSAL No.8200002372
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 13, 1977
Designated TSALJanuary 1, 2003

The Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railroad Company built the tunnel for its own use.[3] Irish and Swedish immigrants comprised the construction crews.[3] The tunnel cuts through sandstone of the Caprock Escarpment, about 50 feet below its ridge of about 2,800 elevation. The tunnel was originally 790 feet (240 m) long. After a train wreck in the tunnel in 1973, the line was closed for eighteen months while the tunnel was shortened to its current length, and the rails were upgraded to handle heavier traffic.[4] As of 1976, it was one of very few railway tunnels still in use in Texas.[3]

The line was abandoned in 1989. In 1993, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired the abandoned right-of-way, and the tunnel is now part of Caprock Canyons State Park and Trailway.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "Details for Clarity Tunnel". Texas Historic Sites Atlas. Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c William L. Cumiford; Paul D. Hutchison (November 5, 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Registration:" (PDF). Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved July 29, 2018.
  4. ^ McDonough, Doug. "Clarity Tunnel remains favorite destination". MyPlainiew.com. Hearst Newspapers. Retrieved 4 August 2018.