I first became interested in the Chicago Tunnel Company when reading Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle¯. In this book , the protagonist briefly works for a vast underground railroad in Chicago until he is injured. In the intervening years, I would hear little snippets and brief references to this interesting railroad. Finally, Forty Feet Below by Bruce Moffatt was published in 1982, and my interest only grew. This earlier book has been updated an expanded with “The Chicago Tunnel Story”¯, available from the CERA.
Phil O’Keefe has established a wonderful web site about this railroad. It is located here. Rather than replicate their works, I suggest that you visit their web sites and see for yourself. My purpose here is to talk about the various techniques I have explored in constructing a model of the Chicago Tunnel Company’s underground railroad. All the concepts are visible in this very grainy Polaroid photo which dates back to 1984: