Cincinatti Subway



Cinci Subway System

Where: Cincinatti, OH

When: 2002ish

Status: Still there.


Although much of the content of this Site is focused on Columbus, the actual intent is to cover all of Ohio, or at least as much as possible. Given that fact, it was impossible to resist the Cincinnati abandoned Subway tunnels. Of course, as with all of our explorations, we did screw this up a little.

Before we get to the pictures and discriptions, the background is that Cincinatti started to build a full subway system in the 20's. The project started and stopped numerous times before finally being put to rest in the 50s.

Many of these pictures are really bad because of the lack of light in the tunnels. This tunnel had a little more light than the 2nd tunnel we verntured in to. This tunnel was cut off during the making of I-75. Unfortunately we didn't realize this until we were already in there and had spent quite a bit of time getting in there.


There are two tunnels that are a few hundred yards apart. The train would have exited one, traveled in the outside, and then entered the 2nd set which face it. We didn't know which set went the farthest, so we entered the first one we came to. It ended up being the short one that was blocked about 100 yards later by a cement wall.


Once we figured our mistake out, we managed to get to the right tunnel and we were able to go right in by climbing the gate. The 2nd set was much more impressive. We never did reach the end, but it went way back under the city. I would estimate that we went somewhere between one and two miles, but I could be way off. We walked for a really really long time. I believe we were in tunnels for more than an hour and maybe closer to two. I was worn out by the time we left.

There really isn't a lot you can say about an old tunnel. They were damn, cold, the echod like crazy, and we constantly kept hearing weird noises from the openings above.

Its been a few years, so my memory is vague, but I believe we ended up seeing three stations total. One was entirely bocked over if I recall correctly. Another was very plain and simple for the most part, and the third was the famous bomb shelter station. It appeared that it would have been one of the main stations with ticket booths and what not. It had later been converted to a bomb shelter for important people in the city.

Stairs leading to cement cap.

The bomb shelter was undoubtably the coolest part. There were bunk beds, walls, food storage containors, and all kinds of cools stuff down there. The shelter was one of the few points that still had a usable opening to the world above. It was secured well, but there were large steel gates that opened to the sidewalks above.

Like any subway, there are two tunnels running side by side. In the case of the Cinci subways, one of the tunnels had been converte to run a huge waterline through the city. We tried walking on top of it because some of the tunnels were flooded with rain water, but the pipe was covered in slippery plastic.

Beyond that the subways are just a cool remnant of a project that never happened.

Ladder up to the platform.

There isn't much else to say about the tunnels. I get a bunch of emails asking me how to get to the tunnels or in the tunnels and I honestly can't remember. Most recently I've heard that they are no longer accessable but I have not checked for myself.




Steel doors to surface.
Bomb selter station
Ticket booth.
Water main running through the tunnel.
Cots in the bomb shelter.
Narrow passage in the shelter.

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More pictures can be found in the gallery here.