Train journeys are among the most fascinating things to experience on planet earth. This is especially true if you are passing through lush natural landscapes. On train journeys, you are also likely to come across tunnels that can stretch for several miles. This can be another interesting aspect of your train journeys. Tunnels can also be a bit scary, especially for folks who may be wary of enclosed spaces. To satisfy your curiosity, here’s a look at some of the longest train tunnels in the world.
Songshan Lake Tunnel – Located in China, Songshan Lake Tunnel was completed in 2016. It is part of Dongguan–Huizhou Intercity Railway. Operating speed is currently at 124 mph (200 kmph). The tunnel stretches for 24.1 miles (38.81 km). Just like other long train tunnels, this has a completely electric rail line.
Yulhyeon Tunnel – Located in South Korea, Yulhyeon Tunnel opened for service in 2016. It measures 31.3 miles (50.3 km) in length. The tunnel is part of a high-speed rail network that connects Suseo station with Gyeongbu high-speed railway. It currently supports average speed of 149 mph (240 kmph), although maximum speed capacity is 186 mph (300 kmph).
Channel Tunnel – Stretching across the English Channel, this tunnel connects England with European mainland. Much of the tunnel is under the seabed, around 75 meters (250 ft.) at its deepest point. The tunnel connects Folkestone in England with Coquelles in France. It was opened in 1994. Its full length is 31.35 miles (50.46 km), making it the third largest train tunnel in the world. Around 23.5 miles (37.9 km) is under the seabed. It currently supports speed of 100 mph (160 kmph).
Seikan Tunnel – Located in Japan, Seikan Tunnel connects Honshu Island to Hokkaido Island. Much of the tunnel runs below the seabed, around 100 m (330 ft) deep. If measured from sea level, the depth of the tunnel is 240 m (790 ft). The tunnel was commissioned in 1988. It runs for 33.46 miles (53.85 km), making it the second largest train tunnel in the world. It supports average travel speed of 100 mph (160 kmph), although this can vary.
Gotthard Base Tunnel – Boring its way through the scenic Alps, Gotthard Base Tunnel is located in Switzerland. Stretching for 35.5 miles (57.09 km), it is currently the longest train tunnel in the world. It also holds the distinction of being the deepest traffic tunnel in the world. The tunnel was opened for use in 2016. It has two tracks and connects Erstfeld (Uri) with Bodio (Ticino). The tracks support movement of both high-speed rail and heavy cargo trains. The focus is more on freight trains, so that use of heavy trucks in this area can be reduced.