Most Incredible Tunnels : Plunging into the depths of the Swiss Alps, the Gotthard Base Tunnel reigns as the longest and deepest railway tunnel worldwide, spanning a staggering 57 kilometers (35.5 miles). Since its inauguration in 2016, this monumental engineering marvel has facilitated seamless train freight transportation beneath the majestic Alpine range. Passengers traveling between prominent Swiss and continental cities also traverse its depths, venturing through depths of approximately 2,450 meters.
Lærdal Tunnel, Norway
Norway’s labyrinthine network of tunnels plays a vital role in connecting its coastal cities and picturesque islands. Among them, the Lærdal Tunnel, also known as Lærdalstunnelen, claims the title of the world’s longest road tunnel, stretching over an impressive 24.5 kilometers (15.23 miles). Since its completion in 2000, it has served as the fastest route between Oslo and Bergen. To combat driver fatigue during the 20-minute drive, engineers constructed rock chambers every six kilometers, employing captivating blue and yellow lighting that mimics the gradual illumination of a sunrise.
Channel Tunnel, UK/France
Dreams of an underwater connection between the United Kingdom and France took root over two centuries ago. In 1994, the 50-kilometer (31-mile) Channel Tunnel materialized after six years of arduous construction, resting approximately 75 meters (246 feet) below the sea bed. Today, this remarkable feat of engineering enables passengers to traverse between London and Paris in just over two hours. Motorists and trucks can also embark on this subaqueous journey, driving onto a train near Folkestone on the UK coast and disembarking at Calais on the French side.
Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, Japan of Most Incredible Tunnels
Japan’s archipelago and expansive bays have long enticed tunnel enthusiasts. The Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, also known as the Trans-Tokyo Bay Expressway, seamlessly connects Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures, eliminating the need for coastal detours. What sets it apart is its transformative nature: starting as a tunnel on the Kanagawa side, it gracefully emerges from the water on Umihotaru, an artificial island adorned with a rest stop and panoramic viewing platforms that offer breathtaking vistas of the Tokyo skyline. The final leg of the journey to Chiba is traversed on a bridge, captivating arriving passengers with its striking presence as their planes gracefully descend over the shimmering waters.
These tunnels serve as remarkable testaments to human ingenuity, enabling us to conquer geographical obstacles and embark on awe-inspiring journeys. From the depths of the Swiss Alps to the heights of Tokyo Bay, these engineering marvels showcase the remarkable possibilities that tunnels offer for efficient transportation and breathtaking experiences.