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Do You Know, That? - Railway Tunnels

Published: 3.10.2010
The Czech Republic has many special routes and localities, and railway nest belong to them, for sure. Its density is ranged to most advanced of the world. So, the railway station buildings or stops are to be found nearly in each village, and if you can see motor railway carriage, passing through countryside, all this belongs to very nice moments of every excursion.

So, the tunnels are unthinkable ingredients of the railway. All such constructions were established just since 19th century. Totally, there are 155 tunnels in our country, and many of them have its special characteristics.

So, the longest railway tunnel is to be found below Špičák Mountain, Bohemia Forest. It was constucted in 1876, and its length makes 1747 metres. This tunnel, situated on romantic railway route Klatovy - Železná Ruda, was constructed in the course of 1874-1876.

It is an interesting fact, that many workers, coming from variuous parts of Austria-Hungarian Monarchy (from Bosnia, Dalmatia, Tirol or Croatia) participated on the building of such tunnel. However, this construction was fatal (they found a death there) for several persons of them. Nevertheless, this more than hundred years lasting railway priority was overcome in 2007, with new Březí Tunnel (railway line Lužná u Rakovníka-Chomutov). Its total length makes 1758 metres (situated close to the community of Březno). It is a part of new railway transfer which would set free this locality for coal mining from new brown coal layers.

Nevertheless, it is nothing special, making comparison with mega-construction, planned, since 2002, as a part of high-speed railway corridor Prague-Pilsen. However, the realization of such construction is still postponed, and  year 2018 is stipulated as an outlook of setting in operation. This Barrandov Tunnel could connect Prague with Beroun by means of long, non-interrupted tube, of total length reaching 24,7 kilometres. The trains would enter the tunnel from the point of today´s Hlubočepy tram stop, and leave just at main railway station in Beroun. The tunnel helps a fact that the drive through Berounka-river valley (via Radotín, Řevnice and Karlštejn) would be shortened in essential way. A planned speed of train is planned to be 300 kms/hour, total transit time period between both two towns would be shortened, from original 45 minutes to 20 minutes only!

Total expenses for the building do exceed planned value of CZK 30 billions! Moreover, a part of this corridor, in direction to Nurenberg in Germany, will be several shorter, but also above the average tunnels, of length reaching two kms or four kms!

It is worth also to be mentioned the shortest railway tunnel of Czech Republic. So, it is Nelahozeves Tunnel, with its length of  23,3 metres only! 

Text: Jan Chaloupka  

Translation. ing. Jan Jonáš

Photo: Sudop Praha a.s.      



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