American Experience

Compressed Air in the Tunnels

Clip: Season 26 Episode 5 | 2m 42s

Work never stopped on the Pennsylvania Railroad’s tunneling projects; there were three 8-hour shifts a day, 7 days a week. As the workers dug under the river bed, compressed air was pumped in to keep the water out of the tunnels. To bore under the river, the engineers used a Greathead shield, a steel cylinder with a diameter of 23 feet that weighed nearly 200 tons.

Aired: 02/18/14

Rating: NR

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