Generally speaking, tunnels are underground passageways at least twice as long as they are wide and at least
0.1miles or 0.16km in length or longer. Anything shorter than this is called underpass or chute. Tunnels are built
beneath the mountains, seas and cities for transportation, communication and other purposes. Here’s a list of
some of the most remarkable tunnels in the world.
Laerdal Tunnel: Norway
The Lærdal Tunnel in Norway is the most spectacular tunnel because it is the longest tunnel in the world. It is
a 24.5 km or 15.2 miles long road tunnel. Its construction started in 1995 and was finished in 2000 and took
the title from Gothard Road Tunnel as the world’s longest road tunnel.
The design of the tunnel takes into consideration the mental strain on drivers, so the tunnel is divided into four
sections, separated by three large mountain caves. The caves break the routine, providing a refreshing view
and allowing drivers to take a short rest.
North East MRT: Singapore
The 20 km long North East MRT Line (NEL) of Singapore is the most high-tech tunnels in the world. It is a
Mass Rapid Transit line which is considered as the world’s first fully-underground, automated and driverless
rapid transit line.
The line has 16 stations and will take 30 minutes to travel from one end of this line to the other end. This
line is the first in Singapore to be entirely underground.
Lotschberg Base Tunnel: Switzerland
The 34.577 km or 21.485 mile long Lotschberg Base Tunnel (LBT), a new railway tunnel cutting through the
Alps of Switzerland some 400 m or 1,312 ft below the existing Lotschberg Tunnel. It is the longest land tunnel
in the world that accommodates both passenger and freight trains.
Construction started in 2005 and in full scale operation by December 2007.
Cu Chi Tunnels: Vietnam
Many wondered why the Americans were not victorious against the communists during the so-called Vietnam
War. Well, the tunnels of C? Chi is one of the factors why the Americans withdrawn their forces in the
aforementioned war. These tunnels are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in
the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. These tunnels are part of a much larger network of
tunnels that underlie much of the country.
The C? Chi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during the said war and were the Viet Cong’s
base of operations for the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerillas as hiding spots
during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and
living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters.
Seikan Tunnel: Japan
The 53.85 kilometers or 33.5 mi long Seikan Tunnel of Japan is the world’s longest undersea tunnel. It is a
railway tunnel with a 23.3 km or 14.5 mi portion under the seabed. It travels beneath the Tsugaru Strait
connecting Aomori Prefecture on the Japanese island of Honshu and the island of Hokkaido.
It is also the deepest rail tunnel in the world at 240 meters or 790 ft. This title will be taken by Gotthard base
Tunnel upon its completion in 2018.
Channel Tunnel: UK/France
Another spectacular undersea rail tunnel is the 50.5 km or 31.4 mile long Channel Tunnel between France and
United Kingdom. Its lowest point is 75 m or 250 ft deep. The Channel Tunnel has the longest undersea portion
of any tunnel in the world.
The tunnel carries high-speed Eurostar passenger trains, Eurotunnel roll-on/roll-off vehicle transport – the
largest in the world – and international rail freight trains. This tunnel is regarded as one of the “Seven Wonders
of the Modern World” by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1996.
Fenghuoshan Tunnel: China
See image HERE
With a total length of 1, 338 meters long and stand at 4,905 meters above sea level, the Fenghuoshan Railway Tunnel in China is the highest railway tunnel in the world. It is part of the recently-completed Qingzang Railway that links China proper and Tibet.
The Chinese word “Fenghuoshan” means “Wind Volcano”.
Moffat Tunnel: USA
The Moffat Tunnel is a unique tunnel. It is a 10 kilometer or 6.2 miles long railroad and a water tunnel that cuts
through the Continental Divide in north-central Colorado. The railroad tunnel is 24 feet or 7.3 m high and 18
feet or 5.5 m wide. The apex of the tunnel is at 9,239 feet or 2,816 m above sea level. The water tunnel runs
parallel south of the railroad tunnel and is part of the water supple system of Denver. The tunnel was named
after Colorado railroad pioneer David Moffat.
Delaware Aqueduct: USA
At 137 km or 85 miles long and 4.11 meters or 13.5 ft wide, the Delaware Aqueduct is the world’s longest
continuous underground tunnel. It is the newest of the New York City aqueducts. It carries approximately
half of NYC’s 1.3 billion US gallons per day water demand. The Delaware Aqueduct leaks up to 35 million
gallons per day.
Paijanne Water Tunnel: Finland
The 120 km or 75 miles long Paijanne Water Tunnel located in Finland is the world’s second longest continuous
rock tunnel. It runs 30-100 meters under the surface in bedrock. It provides freshwater for the million people of
Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and others in Southern Finland.
Since the constant low temperature in the deep tunnel ensures high quality during transport, only minimal
processing is required before use.
Zhongnanshan Tunnel: China
See image HERE
The 18,040 meter or 11.21 miles long Zhongnanshan Tunnel or Qinling Zhongnanshan Tunnel in Shaanxi
Province, China is the longest two-tube road tunnel in the world. It is also the second longest road tunnel
overall in the world, after the Laerdal Tunnel of Norway. The tunnel opened in 2007 which is worth 3.2 billion
Yuan or US$410 million. The tunnel will reduce the traveling times from Xi’an City to Zha Shui County Town
from 3 hours to 40 minutes.
La Linea: Colombia
La Linea or The Line is a highway tunnel currently under construction in Colombia. It will cross beneath the
locally famous “Alto de La Línea” in the Cordillera Central or central range of the Andes mountains. Upon
completion, it will be the longest tunnel in Latin America. Its total length will be 8,580 meters and expected to
be finished in 2013. Total economic benefits are estimated to be US$40 million per annum.
Eiksund Tunnel: Norway
At 7,765 meters or 25,476 ft long and 287 meters or 942 ft deep, the Eiksund Tunnel of Norway, an undersea
tunnel between the municipalities of Volda and Ulstein is the deepest undersea tunnel of its kind in the world.
The tunnel joins the island of Hareidlandet with more than 40,000 inhabitants to mainland Norway. The tunnel
was opened for public traffic in February 2008.
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