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Va. rail tunnel focus of restoration effort

Thursday - 12/5/2013, 3:50am  ET

STAUNTON, Va. (AP) -- A foundation is preparing to take the wraps off a restoration plan for a 155-year-old former railroad tunnel linking Nelson and Augusta counties.

Proponents want to resurrect the 5,000-foot Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel as a walking trail. Initial estimates put the cost at $4 million.

The tunnel is more than 700 feet beneath Rockfish Gap.

Rail cars stopped using the tunnel in 1944 when a new tunnel was opened that could accommodate more freight.

Augusta and Waynesboro are part of the planning for what organizers hope will be an attraction for tourists and connect nearby federal parks and a major bike route.

The News Leader ( ) says more details on the project will be revealed next month.

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