Pioneer Tunnel is a horizontal drift mine. Its level tunnel runs 1800 feet straight into the side of the Mahanoy Mountain. You make the trip in comfort, riding in open mine cars pulled by a battery-operated mine motor. The mine is inspected daily by the mine's foreman and periodically by state mine inspectors. The temperature inside the mine averages 52 degrees, so a sweater or jacket is recommended. The tour lasts about 35 minutes. Deep inside the mine, you will alight from your car and follow your miner-guide as you are given an explanation of how coal is mined. There are storyboards inside the mine depicting the mining operation. Your guide will point out the numerous coal seams and describe various configurations of passageways, some cut from solid rock in order to reach the coal. The tour is educational as well as entertaining. Each year, 40,000 people including students from pre-school through college visit Pioneer Tunnel. There are approximately 350 bus tours each season. In 1979, Pioneer Tunnel was given an award for excellence by the Pennsylvania Travel Industry Advisory Council as one of the top 10 tourist attractions in the State of Pennsylvania.
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