This photo often appears with the caption giving the date of photography as 1937. Could the switching set be inside the tunnel? According to "Rails to Doomsday" there should be a main line and a siding in the tunnel.
Last Edit: Sept 21, 2008 6:39:37 GMT 8 by mapmaster
I got a copy of this photo from EXO last year when the question was first raised.
I can only give you my opinion, as I have found little in the way of evidence to solve the question. However, we can work our way through what we know.
Malinta Storage System was designed as a concrete lined and waterproof tunnel system. Waterproofed would mean “waterproof concrete lining”. We have seen enough of the war damaged lining to know that it was lined before the war started. So, I am wondering if the wooden lining, in the photograph, is holding up the war damaged concrete lining (prior to re-lining); or the wooden lining is part of the pre-war form work installed prior to concrete lining. So, which is it?
There are remnants of the same type of wooden lining in some of the laterals. Again, that does not give any clues to the date of the wooden lining.
Your observation of possible debris, in the tunnel portal, sounds (looks) correct.
The single railway line maybe correct. I now understand that there was only one line through the tunnel. Two lines were mentioned in Rails to Doomsday by Charles S. Small , but this was corrected at the back of the book after publishing. Charles interviewed a former Corregidor survivor who worked on freight services and was told there was only one line through Malinta. Charles’ first assumption was based on the tunnel today.
As I said on the Bulletin Board, ‘there is no point set (switch gear) in the 1937 photo where the two ladies are walking towards Malinta. The set of points should be visible just outside the tunnel if there were two lines as the present two track layout exits the tunnels as parallel lines.
The colour photo, if taken pre-war or just post war proves there was only one line. If there was originally two lines, why remove one, take a photo and then reinstall the second line? Why install an extra line during the restoration of Malinta anyway (but it appears someone has)?
I’ve attached a photo from the Archives section of CHS-503. Is it supposed to be Malinta tunnel? However, it looks a bit narrow or it may be the pattern on the concrete lining and the furniture clutter distorting the view. Only one line in this photo and there is a pattern of form work boards visible on the concrete lining.
Now, if this isn’t Malinta, where is it? If it’s the hospital or a lateral, why the rail track? However, one of the Navy tunnels was supposed to have had a rail line for moving torpedoes. Maybe conjecture too. Trouble is, in the past others have advance their thoughts, which are then restated as facts.
More food for thought, eh?
Last Edit: Jul 12, 2009 16:02:00 GMT 8 by mapmaster
That tunnel seems to have a diameter much smaller than the main Malinta east-west tunnel. It looks like two 6 foot soldiers on top of each other would easily touch the ceiling and it is far too narrow. One of the Navy Tunnels would be a good guess.
As for the second rail line, removing/adding it would not be an afternoon job. I agree, sounds quite impractical.
Here is a far left field idea. What if during construction of the main Malinta east-west shaft, two rail lines were built, one for ‘future’ use if required. It would be easy to build both at the same time. The second one was never permanently extended outside the tunnel because it was not required then.
In photo #1 of the west entrance, you see a second rail line in use at this moment in time. Clearly, a second set of tracks existed when that early Malinta Tunnel construction was underway. Could a second set of tracks have been completed inside the tunnel and everything outside the tunnel removed and resurfaced after construction? It would explain no switch gear ever found or shown on any map.
A thin concrete or wood covering may have been put over them to make walking and working easier on the south side of the tunnel.
In the old colored photo (photo #2), note the yellowish area to the right where a possible rail line could be hidden under. Why such an abrupt transition from grey to yellow down the middle of the tunnel? I don't think it is a shadow. Also, it does not look totally flat there.
If you wanted to protect a set of rails here for possible future use, would an engineer cover them with something such as a layer of sand that could be easily removed? (yellow sand ) A thin layer of concrete or wood above it would allow for a smooth surface in the interim. Photo #2 is a very early construction photo so a flat surface on the southern half of the tunnel may not have been completed yet. A Corregidor 'survivor' who rotated to the island in to a freight services job many years later may have known nothing about what was hidden there.
Photo #3 taken in 1967 shows the Malinta main tunnel after clean-up but before restoration work had begun. It shows a second set of tracks there before restoration and after war debris clean-up.
When was restoration by the way? By 1981 when photo #4 was taken, restoration at the west entrance and as far as you can see inside had been completed. No doors yet though.
What does this all mean? As you say, absolutely nothing. It is now 12:30am and I am just dreaming before going to bed.
Here is a photo of the Finance Department Lateral, which shows the concrete lining. The waterproof concrete lining is described as complete on the 1934 plan of Malinta. So, I think the wooden lining is from a different time, either during construction, tunnel clean up or restoration.
Zo017. Note from Karl: For some reason the original picture disappeared, as of today, 2019-02-14, it shows again but from a different server:
fots2, your photo number 1 shows lines laid on wooden sleepers. The rail in surviving magazines and at the wharves are cemented in place. Therefore the lines in photo number 1 are probably temporary and part of the Malinta construction processes. The rail would have to be cemented into the Malinta floor otherwise access into, from and across the rail would have been difficult. Trucks used Malinta, so it would be hard to cover a second set of railway lines.
There is only one railway track leading to and from Malinta tunnel on all surviving maps. If there were two railway lines inside Malinta, the points sets should have been inside the tunnel. It would have been unwise to have the points outside the bombproof tunnel. It would take many days to build a new set if one set was damaged during conflict. There is no sign of these points sets in the tunnel today and both lines lead parallel right up to the portals.
The photo below displays a tram car entering/leaving Malinta. There is only one track. It also appears to have been laid a little further from the tunnel wall than the restored line in Malinta today.
Zo018. Note from Karl: For some reason the original picture disappeared, as of today, 2019-02-14, it shows again but from a different server:
Restoration work may have taken place during 1975-77. I've seen two references to those dates, but nothing official.
Regarding the old photo with the wooden beams, I expect you are correct in it being an early construction photo. When I lighten up the shadows, I do not even see any evidence of laterals yet.
I was thinking that perhaps there never was a plan for point sets for the second rail line in Malinta. I can’t see where routing a short second set of tracks back into the original single line would increase overall rail cargo capacity. If it was to be for future expansion then a second outside line would also be constructed when required.
I was inferring to the Malinta second set of rails being embedded in concrete the same as the other (northern) set and then covered in such a manner as to allow for truck traffic etc. Since the rails are slightly below the surrounding concrete floor level that sounds easy to me. This covering may have been destroyed during explosions and cleaned out as part of the general clean-up and then later renovations.
Photo #1 does look like wooden sleepers. Unfortunately we cannot see inside the tunnel to see what it connects to.
Photo 40_03 is another good one I did not have. In fact the tram car is so far south of tunnel centre and near the wall as to be riding on the second set of tracks. Note how close to the tunnel side the top of the tram car is. It is not near the centre of the tunnel.
That poor quality photo is quite deceiving though. Whether a northern set of tracks is there or not cannot really be determined. When zooming in, I see piles of rocks and some unidentifiable horizontal thing.
The whole area still looks quite rough as if construction has not been completed, perhaps at an intermediate phase of some sort during the ten years of the majority of Malinta Tunnel construction. Who knows?
Both sets of tracks we see in the 1967 photo and today are very close to the outer walls of the main tunnel. (If restoration took place in 1975-77 then two set of tracks were there after the post-war debris clean-up and long before the 1975 restoration started).
Nothing I have seen so far explains the second set of rails we can see as early as the 1967 photo. If there was any major work done in Malinta post war (such as adding/moving embedded rail lines)(and why?) then I think we would have come across some record or account of it. It sounds like Marcos was the first one to attempt any work in Malinta Tunnel since WWII.
I am still leaning towards two sets of tracks from day one but I find zero evidence confirming that theory.
In posting our discussions on the board I hope someone might have some long lost proof to settle this one way or the other. What do you say folks?
This is a photo crop from a documentary film of Malinta taken just before the war.
After I did the first article on the railway system of the island for Paul almost 10 years ago, I had the same discussion with the late Al McGrew Battery H, 60th CA) and the late Bill Delich (Battery K, 59th CA) about the claims of Charles Small when he said that there was only one line inside Malinta. Both of them disagreed with the claim of Small and confirmed that there were two rails inside the tunnel and both have witnessed it as they were stationed in the island before and during wartime. That was 1940 - 41.
The Moore Report also confirms the presence of a double rail inside Malinta Tunnel.
The claim of Small about the single line is correct but it was after 1936-37 that the additional line inside the tunnel was built.
I know I have something in the Engineers report after 1936 on the additional rail lines in my "shelf of doom". Will keep you guys posted when I find it.
Last Edit: May 24, 2009 23:09:29 GMT 8 by batteryboy
You have solved the problem that arose in September 2008, hence the first post in this thread. The 1932, 1935 and 1936 maps of Corregidor show one tram line (track) through Malinta tunnel.
However, the "as of 30th June 1934" plan of Malinta Storage System displayed two sets of track embedded in the floor of the main tunnel. This is only in a small portion of the plan and only present as a section of the tunnel. The plan showed the Malinta main tunnel construction as complete.
The most well known of the pre-war photos of the western portal, however, shows only one track outside the tunnel. This was probably correct when that photograph was taken.
So, I now know the two tracks went straight through Malinta by 1934, although it is probable that only one was in use for some time after 1934 and probably up to and after 1936 (at least). I'm guessing the western end of second tracks joined the first before reaching the railway bridge near the Church and Postal Exchange.
Outside the Malinta tunnel eastern portal, I'm wondering if the second line again joined the first not far from the tunnel? If this is the case, Rails to Doomsday (page 40) is correct in that there was a main line and siding in the Malinta tunnel.
Last Edit: May 23, 2009 20:48:37 GMT 8 by mapmaster
BLussier: I am the niece of Pvt. Robert D. Turner 13030357 listed as MIA on Corregidor. Still working with DPAA on Robert’s case. In the first entry on thread you mention a report and give info from Col. (Chaplain) Boerman that references cremating bodies in tunnel
Mar 6, 2021 10:58:01 GMT 8
BLussier: Is it possible to get a copy of that report? DPAA analyst never heard this before. I read the same info in a book. It was reported by a doc in the tunnel. Unfortunately I did not write the book title/ author info so can not use that info as evidence this
Mar 6, 2021 11:02:20 GMT 8
BLussier: is what could have happened to Robert’s body. Thank you! Bobbye (Turner) Lussier
Mar 6, 2021 11:04:28 GMT 8
raycoinhound: I sugest all members read this one!!!Fowlerville news and views 11/08/20 page 15.. The article shows Andy age 99 My mother Jackie age 95 and me in the middle age 68> . Andy saw all the paratroopers jump off his distroyer which shelled Corregdor in Feb 1945
Apr 20, 2021 12:06:19 GMT 8
raycoinhound: all members you better read this one.Fowlerville news & Views 11/08/20pg 15. Andy saw the 503 jump into battle on Corregidor. His Distroyer shelled the island and as soon as they stopped down came the 503rd!Andy is 99, my mother 95 and me 68.I take him out
Apr 20, 2021 12:09:58 GMT 8
raven316: Which tin can, my dad was on the USS Crosby, APD 17
Apr 21, 2021 1:55:19 GMT 8