World's Most Spectacular Tunnels

May 13th, 2009
A list of the most remarkable tunnels in the world.

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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Construction started in 2005 and in full scale operation by December 2007.

Cu Chi Tunnels: Vietnam

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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 Well, the tunnels of C? Chi is one of the factors why the Americans withdrawn their forces in the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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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Since the constant low temperature in the deep tunnel ensures high quality during transport, only minimal

processing is required before use.

Zhongnanshan Tunnel: China

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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

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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

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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.

Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you!

Nobert Bermosa
I grew up and studied in a wonderful place with awesomely good and industrious people. I have always been a good follower and I solemnly believe that "If you want to be a good leader, be a good follower" and I also believe that "A real…
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Nobert Bermosa
I am a Secondary School Head Teacher III and just graduated my doctorate degree at Araullo University. I also contribute articles on Triond & Knoji.
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