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Date: Sun, 7 Jul 2002 21:36:11 -0700
From: Dan Rabin 
Subject: (urth) Tunnels beneath the city

I was recently reminded that Chicago has abandoned tunnels that 
underly most of the central business district (read about it at 
).  I was struck by the 
similarity to Viron's tunnels, and especially by the fact that the 
Chicago system was used to haul away coal ash, and the Viron system 
for ash from sacrifices.  The Chicago tunnels also have water in them 
to varying depths, have access to the city hall, and are lined with 
concrete ("shiprock").  On the other hand, the tunnels were *not* 
built mainly for the purpose of cooling Chicago :-).

The existence of these tunnels was (it is alleged) largely forgotten 
after their abandonment after World War II, but a railroad-enthusiast 
publication by Bruce Moffatt in 1982 
 brought them to the attention of at least that audience, and 
they made news in 1992 when the Chicago River breached the system 
owing to a construction accident and flooded many basements in the 

The latter incident was too late to have influenced the writing of 
_Long Sun_; if Wolfe had these tunnels as a model, he must have known 
of them beforehand.

Yours railroad-enthusiastically,

   -- Dan Rabin


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