Is There a Locomotive Hidden Under Hicks?

Bob Diamond, the tourmaster of the Atlantic Avenue train tunnel is positive that there’s a locomotive hidden under Brooklyn Heights.  The New York Times profiles him and his new quest:

New York Times: In Brooklyn… : Behind a wall in the tunnel, near Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street, he believes, there is a steam locomotive lying on its side like an abandoned toy train, in “pristine condition, a virtual time capsule.” And he wants to dig it up.

Mr. Diamond’s passion for the project has drawn the interest of a movie director named Trey Nelson, who is working with an entity called Hungry Man Entertainment to film a documentary about Mr. Diamond’s quest. If all goes well, the project could take the story of the man and the tunnel into the stratosphere.

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  • Billy Reno

    The day they unearth that thing, I’m dressing up like Buster Keaton in “The General”!

  • C.

    Interesting, but why does he believe that it’s there??

  • John Wentling

    Rumor was that it was too costly to remove the locomotive, so they just buried it, along with the abandoned tracks, see this: or this:

  • Eddy de Laurot

    Hummm. Why would it be worth it to unearth the locomotive now? There such antiques in museums already and in much better condition than anything thats been buried for 150 years. Also, It would have probably been stripped of most of its parts, leaving only a cast iron carcass. The cost of removing such a thing would be immense, the money could be better spent elsewhere.

  • John Wentling

    For history’s sake I imagine – what the heck, let `em dig!

  • Mom

    Im with you John, my kids will think this is awesome.

  • Andrew

    My inner 8 year old thinks that it’s awesome.

  • Andrew Porter

    I’ve been in the tunnel, and how it came to be is fascinating. After taking the contract to fill it in, the tunnel’s entrances were filled with dirt after the rails and ties were taken away (you can see where the ties were by the hollows left in the ground), and the contractor said, “Okay, we’re finished — give us our money.” However, there are still more parts of the tunnel, which extended all the way from the East River to the terminal at Atlantic and Fulton, left to be uncovered. No one knows what’s there, but Diamond is still curious after all these years. Likely the engine is the way it was left, preserved in the dry air of the sealed up tunnel. Not stripped of parts, not rusted away. Just waiting for intrepid explorers to boldly go where the MTA never….

    Sorry, got carried away for a second…

  • Eddy de Laurot

    Dose anyone really think they would have left a very valuable thing such as a steam engine inside that tunnel? They took the tracks, I seriously doubt they would left the engine.

  • Dave Brown

    There’s also a tunnel of sorts under Willow St. In the late 70s when the Jehovah’s Witnesses were remodeling the Towers Hotel they wanted to connect it with their properties on Columbia Heights. They constructed a tunnel from 119 Columbia Heights under their 86 Willow St property to the Towers Hotel. In so doing, they broke into a huge abandoned underground tunnel. I was a member of the Witnesses’ headquarters staff at that time and we heard a report by the construction foreman, Max Larson, where he explained the find. They did a brief exploration of the tunnel but decided it would open a historical “can of worms” and the opening to this ancient tunnel was sealed off so the Watchtower’s new tunnel to the Towers Hotel could be finished. As far as I know, this was was kept quiet and consequently was never made public at the time.

  • Bob Diamond

    Hi All, I have a lot more information on the locomotive buried under Atlantic Ave, as well as more information on the tunnel on this webpage: