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List of Canal Tunnels Tunnel History
  Canal tunnels in UK and USA
Yes, canalbuilders found it occasionally necessary to build tunnels. Some had towpaths and some didn't. 
  Voici les photos prises par Martin Turcan
Belgium Le tunnel-canal de Bernistap, 1827-1830
(dit aussi tunnel de Buret) se situe non loin de Tavigny, en province du Luxembourg. Prévu pour le passage de bateaux de 60 tonnes, le tunnel est navigable dès l´entrée, la profondeur constante de l´eau étant de 3 mètres environ.
Old Charleroi Canal: Ronquières - Seneffe (16 km)
At Seneffe the canal reached an altitude of about 125 m and then passed under the ridge through a tunnel 1,282 m long. Until 1883, all barges were hauled by people - usually the wife and children of the barge operator.
England List of navigable tunnels
Sapperton Tunnel in the middle of the Thames & Severn Canal
was first used over 200 years ago on the 20th April 1789. At the time it was the state of the art in canal technology, being then at 3,817yds (2·17 miles or 3·49 km) the longest tunnel ever dug in England. It took five years to dig (mostly by hand though gunpowder was also used through the rocky sections) which was only a year longer than originally intended, and was much faster than most contemporary tunnels. .
The Grand Junction Canal 1805
The canal opened from Braunston to Weedon on 21st June 1796, and a few weeks later it was extended as far south as Blisworth, where a long tunnel was under construction. Blisworth Tunnel and an embankment at Wolverton were not finished until March and August 1805 when the Grand Junction was opened as a through route for the first time.
Harecastle Tunnel (1777 and 1827)
The present tunnel was built by Thomas Telford and finished in 1827, so it isn't as old as Blisworth either. But next to the "new" tunnel, and still visible, it the "old" tunnel. This was built by James Brindley and completed in 1777 after eleven years of hard labour.
The Lapal tunnel on the Dudley No. 2 canal. The fourth longest canal tunnel in Britain
The 3.5 km long Lapal tunnel (1798) was built with a small bore and dimensions of 9 foot wide and 9 foot high above water line. Since there was no towpath, passage took up to 4 hours and was achieved by boats being 'legged' through the tunnel. It was the repeated collapse of sections of this tunnel that resulted in the remainder of the canal being closed in 1917.
Standedge Tunnel, 1811 is the longest, highest and deepest canal tunnel in Britain! Situated midway along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, the tunnel takes the canal under the high Pennine spine of Northern England between Marsden in the Colne Valley and Diggle in Saddleworth.
The New Dudley Tunnel, 1984 saw the construction of the first British canal tunnel for over 120 years. The work, carried out inside the historic Dudley Tunnel, provided a new underground canal link to the intriguing Singer Cavern limestone mine. Providing a rarely seen glimpse of underground construction techniques, this tape is of interest to Civil Engineers and mining and canal enthusiasts.
Canal Tunnels of London
All London's canal tunnels are on the Regent's Canal. Only two are generally recognised today,
Islington Tunnel  and Maida Hill Tunnel. In fact a third very short tunnel exists, Eyre's tunnel, (48 meters) under Lisson Grove.
France Le Canal du Midi, crée par un homme de génie Pierre Paul Riquet fut commencé en 1667, achevé et inauguré en 1681. Long de 240 kilomètres de Toulouse à l'étang de Thau, le Canal du midi a un tracé à double pente inhérent à l'obstacle naturel du Seuil de Naurouze qui avec ses 189 mètres d'altitude délimite le versant atlantique du versant méditerranéen. Par rapport à cette élévation les bateaux montent ou descendent grâce au jeu des écluses.
Malpas Tunnel
Between Capestang and Colombiers, Pierre Paul Riquet give up on the tracing advocated by the Knight of Clerville, which has to cross the river Aude. Instead he prefered to cut into the sandy tuff of Enserune hill, subject to landslides and pemeable to water. His detractors had finally a good reason to let him down and Colbert, following Louis XIV orders, asked Pierre Paul Riquet to suspend work . He pretended to obey and sent labourers to work on another section of the Canal.  With candle lights Pierre-Paul Riquet took them through the 165 metres of vaulted tunnel, 8 metres high and as many wide. Dumbfounded they had to realize that the Canal went through! This tunnel is very much ahead of its time and it is only in the XIX century that this kind of works become usual with the construction of the Railroads.
La persée de Malpas
Au pied de l'oppidum d'Ensérune, sur la commune de Nissan-les-Ensérune, se trouve la percée du Malpas. C'est un ouvrage unique sur le Canal du Midi. L'origine du nom viendrait de la difficulté d'exécution du creusement (Malpas = mauvais passage). L'ouvrage franchit une colline incontournable. 
Canal de St. Quentin
On parvient à l'entrée du grand tunnel de Riqueval orné d'un arc de triomphe. Près du village de Bellicourt, les tentes sont dressées pour le déjeuner. De la tente impériale, on aperçois la tranchée de Riqueval de 779 m et 31 m de profondeur. Après le repas, Napoléon et Marie-Louise descendirent la "rampe impériale" jusqu'à l'entrée du souterrain et s'embarquèrent à nouveau dans des canots ; le souterrain était illuminé avec soin, mais plusieurs incidents eurent lieu: un garde-fou mal assujetti avait cédé sous la main de Marie-Louise qui fut retenue par les dames de sa suite.
Saint Quentin
Construction du canal de Saint-Quentin
Le canal de Saint-Quentin met en communication la Somme, l'Escaut et l'Oise.
Rove Tunnel, southern section of the Marseilles-Rhône Canal, 4.5 mi (7.2 km) long and 72 ft (22 m) wide, Bouches-du-Rhône dept., opened 1927. Starting near the village of Le Rove, it cuts through the Chaîne de l'Estaque at sea level. It is considered one of the greatest pieces of engineering since the Panama Canal.
Sweden Sveriges bästa kanal-sajt
USA Union Canal Tunnel
Designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1970, this tunnel is the oldest existing transportation tunnel in the United States. At the time of its construction, it was considered a work almost unknown in this country. Work began May 1825 and was completed in June 1827
The tunnel was originally 729 feet long. Drilling was done by hand and blasting with gunpowder through argillaceous slate rock with veins of hard flinty limestone 80 feet below the summit of the ridge. Progress of the work was 5 yards lineal per week. 
The Paw Paw Tunnel on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (USA 1836 - 1850)
The Paw Paw Tunnel, at times referred to as one of the "Wonders of the World," is one of the major features of the canal. It was estimated that construction of the nearly one kilometer-long tunnel (3118') would take two years. Instead, it ended up being fourteen years between the onset of construction and the opening of the tunnel to traffic.


Water -tunnels Tunnel History
Finland Technical information about the Päijänne tunnel: 120 km - The World's longest tunnel
Japan Aquaduct Tunnels in Japan
Nepal Hydropower tunnels in Nepal


Metro- links Tunnel History
The Subway Page Links to World Subway and Other Transportation Information Resources.
UrbanRail.Net takes you on a ride on the world's subway, underground, metro, tunnelbana, U-Bahn and other urban mass transit systems.
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This page was last modified on March 1, 2009