March 13, 1988 in Japan was opened Seikan Tunnel – the world’s longest underwater railway tunnel. Today we decided to talk about it and other most remarkable underwater tunnels that tourists can visit.
While Chinese scientists pore over the draft of the next champion – underwater tunnel length 123 km – the longest existing rail corridor on the planet is the Japanese Seikan. For the realization of ideas in the shortest way to connect the two largest islands Land of the Rising Sun in ’42 and took over 3.6 billion dollars. Initial time and cost of construction increased Seikan is weak soils, the water pressure is too high, the endless financial difficulties. And March 13, 1988 Japanese press finally exploded enthusiastic essays: composition, hiding in the depths of the tunnel on Honshu, raced under the Tsugaru Strait waters and emerged like a float in Hokkaido. “The magnificent spectacle” (as translated from the Japanese “Seikan”) reaches a length of 53.85 km, slightly less than half of them are hiding in the underwater depths.
The tunnel is equipped with protection from natural disasters and power of the water element: ultrasensitive sensors installed inside reacting to the slightest tremors, powerful pumps, bilge per minute up to 16 tons of water, and impressive seekers with sufficient supplies in case of disaster. Now Seikan not as famous as 20 years ago, but is still a landmark in Japan.
A curious fact: the very first in the world “underwater bridge” was to connect the two banks of the Neva River in St. Petersburg. But fate decreed otherwise. Regal customer Alexander I died before the talented architect Marc Brunel finished project, and its successor, Nicholas I was not interested in technical innovation. Developer decided not disappear as good, and turned to another “advanced” monarch – Queen Victoria of England. Then he was more fortunate: they invented a method still used in the construction of tunnels, was implemented to connect the two banks of the Thames.
Stare at the opening of underwater communication length 459 meters gathered 50,000 Londoners. By the standards of 1843 it was almost half the population of the capital! Although due to lack of funding the tunnel and did not cargo, he enjoyed great popularity: walk under the river seemed as improbable as to be on the moon. Corridor turned into a city of entertainment: there appeared a shopping arcade and underwater brothel, was the first World’s Fair in the water. After some time pass under the Thames was abandoned: for 145 years here looked only travel sinker. Most recently, in the oldest underwater tunnel again the voices of the world: London authorities spend walking through the historic underground.
Construction of a tunnel under the Bosphorus, managed to connect Europe and Asia, Turkey has long been a dream seemed impossible. It took over 150 years to implement ideas that emerged from the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid in 1860. Marmaray tunnel opening, held on October 29, 2013 and dated to the National Day of Turkey, has not been without incident: in Marmaray electricity was cut off and the passengers were forced to get out of themselves stuck in a tunnel train. Length of communication, comprising three underground and 37 ground stations, 8 and 4 suburban interchange station, reaches 13.6 kilometers and 1400 meters passes directly under the Bosporus. Bandwidth double pipe, laid on 60 meters below the bottom of the strait, is a half million passengers per day, and its security system is able to withstand an earthquake of 9 points on the Richter scale. In addition to the undeniable economic benefits that decided overload problem of the transport system in Istanbul, Marmara construction brought another unexpected benefit. During the mega-construction was found 40,000 important archaeological finds, including a fleet of 30 vessels Byzantine worthy of a place among the World Heritage sites.
Prior to 1997, funny by today’s standards in the distance of 15 kilometers residents Japanese cities of Kawasaki and Kisarazu seemed just a trifle annoying. Because the shortest distance between these points runs through Tokyo Bay, Kisarazu, which lies very close to the ultra-modern Tokyo resembled rustic hinterland. After all, to get by car from the capital, had to overcome the path of a hundred kilometers. Japanese engineers faced a challenge arhitrudnaya: construction of a bridge between the different parties of Tokyo Bay would impede the movement of ships and the tunnel lining was too problematic because of the instability of the seabed. Technical solution was ingenious: “Aqualine” was very successful and safe combination of underwater tunnel 9.6 km long and 4.4 km long bridge. But not sensitive smoke detectors installed every 25 meters, and the latest anti-seismic technology put Tokyo tunnel in this rating. On one of two artificial islands, through which “Aqualine” is an entertainment complex, similar to the airliner. In addition to parking lot for 480 cars, there are restaurants, souvenir shops, recreation areas and observation platforms.
On the modern miracle of light, connected with Albion Fifth Republic, everyone knows: Eurotunnel, open the Channel Tunnel in 1994, became a symbol of the unification of Europe. The idea of a direct course from England to the continent occurred to outstanding figures of all time: Scientists from the 13th century until the ambitious Napoleon dreamed to put under the Strait of cavalry, carrying ventilation through opening onto the surface of the pipe. It was only in the late 20th century “Europe finally joined Britain”: three tunnels (two for trains and one spare) are connected in a single system vent and spare tunnels. In order to reduce the effects of stroke that occurs when high-speed trains, capable of speeds up to 350 km / h, above the tunnel ventilation system is laid, and on both ends of the installed refrigeration plant, cooling rails. Interesting fact: the British came to the construction of 51 km long Eurotunnel with particular enthusiasm. They dug faster than the French, and dug for more than 15 km. And with the ground, resulting in construction, they have done romantic, creating a man-made cape Shakespeare. Eurotunnel disadvantages (eg high fare) compensated indisputable advantage: it is the fastest and most fun way to get from continental Europe to Britain.