Railway is one of the most important means of transport, which serves a large proportion of world population with speedy and affordable services. Tunnels form an important feature of rail network as they facilitate the use of shortest route, by cutting through obstructions like rocks and mountain to ensure smooth passage of the rail track. A large number of tunnels around the world stand witness to the glorious progress made by human race from its evolutionary stage.
Here is a list of top 10 longest railway tunnels in the world:
10. South Luliangshan Tunnel, China
The tenth longest railway tunnel in the world is South Luliangshan Railway Tunnel in China, which has two tunnels, each of extending to a length of 23.470 km. the tunnel was opened in 2014 and serves the Shanxi Central South Railway line.
9. Lainzer/Wienerwald Tunnel, Austria
Next among the longest railway tunnels in the world in 2015 is the Lainzer Tunnel, which is also known as Wienerwald Tunnel and is located in Austria. The 23.844 km long tunnel started in 2012 and is a part of West Railway line.
8. Iwate-Ichinohe Tunnel, Japan
Iwate-Ichinohe Tunnel of Japan features next on this list. This 25.8 km long tunnel began operating in 2002 and it serves the Tohoku Shinkansen Railway line. It has been made to traverse the Ou Mountains.
7. Hakkoda Tunnel, Japan
Another railway tunnel in Japan, which has made it to the list of top 10 longest railway tunnels in the world in 2015, is the Hakkoda Tunnel, which cuts through the Hakkoda Mountains to reach a length of 26.5 km. This tunnel, which opened in 2010, is a part of Tohoku Shinkansen Railway line.
6. Taihang Tunnel, China
Taihang Tunnel in China is a two tube tunnel, which extends to a length of 27.848 km to become the sixth longest railway tunnel at present. The tunnel was completed in 2007 and it caters to the Shijiazhuang-Taiyuan high speed railway line.
5. Gaudaramma Tunnel, Spain
Next on this list is the 28.4 km long Guadaramma Tunnel in Spain. The tunnel traverses Sierra de Guadaramma and became operational in 2007. It is located on the LAV Madrid Valladolid line.
4. New Guanjiao Tunnel, China
The number four position on the list of top 10 longest railway tunnels in the world in 2015 is the New Guanjiao Tunnel in China, which runs a length of 32.645 km. the 2 tube tunnel has been serving the Qinghai Tibet railway line since 2014.
3. Lotschberg Base Tunnel, Switzerland
Lotschberg Base Tunnel, which is located in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland, is the third longest railway tunnel in the world. This 34.5 km long tunnel was opened up in 2007 and is a part of Lotschbergbahn Brig Thun railway line.
2. Channel Tunnel, France/UK
The famous Channel Tunnel, which traverses the English Channel to connect France with UK is the second longest railway tunnel in the world in 2015. This tunnel has been operational since 1994 and runs 50.5 km long.
1. Seikan Tunnel, Japan
The longest tunnel in the world is another underwater tunnel, Seikan Tunnel, which runs a length of 53.9 km beneath the Tsugaru Strait in Japan. It has been serving the Kaikyo railway line since 1988.
Some other long railway tunnels in the world are Middle Tianshan Tunnel (China), Daishimizu Tunnel (Japan), Qingyunshan Tunnel (China) and Luliangshan Tunnel (China). Many of these tunnels are located in China, which boasts of an extensive rail network.