3. The Oldest Rail Tunnel in North America is in Brooklyn Heights

Photo from inside the now defunct Atlantic Avenue Tunnel. Photo by Vlad Rud via Wikimedia Commons

The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel runs beneath the southern extension of Brooklyn Height’s boundaries from Columbia Place to Boerum Place. Built in 1844, it is believed to be the oldest rail tunnel in North America, and quite possibly the first subway, though the line includes no stations. Originally intended to transport passengers from the heart of Brooklyn to Manhattan-bound ferries at the bottom of Atlantic Avenue, the tunnel has been out of service for over a century. Urban explorer turned tunnel tour guide, Robert Diamond, brought groups to the abandoned tunnel up until 2010. He claims there is also an intact steam engine near Hicks and Atlantic.