New paperback. The Blue Ridge Tunnel: A Remarkable Engineering Feat in Antebellum Virginia. The history of the building of the longest rairoad tunnel in North America at the time. Under the direction of Claudius Crozet, the Virginia Midland Railway was extended across the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the 1850s, a project of the Commonwealth of Virginia requiring 17 miles of track and four tunnels of which the Blue Ridge Tunnel at 4,272 feet was the longest. Hand drilled and blasted with black powder, Irish workers and African American slaves worked for nearly a decade to complete the project. Illustrated in color and b&w, this book focuses on the life of the workers and is based on exhaustive research by the author.