Seikan Tunnel

Undersea railway tunnel in Japan / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Seikan Tunnel (Japanese: 青函トンネル, Seikan Tonneru or 青函隧道, Seikan Zuidō) is a 53.85 km (33.46 mi) dual-gauge railway tunnel in Japan, with a 23.3 km (14.5 mi) portion under the seabed of the Tsugaru Strait, which separates Aomori Prefecture on the main Japanese island of Honshu from the northern island of Hokkaido. The track level is about 100 m (330 ft) below the seabed and 240 m (790 ft) below sea level.[2] The tunnel is part of the standard-gauge Hokkaido Shinkansen and the narrow-gauge Kaikyō Line of the Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido)'s Tsugaru-Kaikyō Line. The name Seikan comes from combining the on'yomi readings of the first characters of Aomori (青森), the nearest major city on the Honshu side of the strait, and Hakodate (函館), the nearest major city on the Hokkaido side.

Quick facts: Overview, Location, Coordinates, Status, Star...
Seikan Tunnel
Map of the Seikan Tunnel
LocationBeneath the Tsugaru Strait
Coordinates41.3157°N 140.3351°E / 41.3157; 140.3351
Opened13 March 1988
OwnerJapan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency
OperatorJR Hokkaido
CharacterPassenger and freight
Track length53.85 kilometres (33.46 mi)
  • 23.3 kilometres (14.5 mi) undersea
No. of tracksDouble track rail tunnel
Track gaugeDual gauge
  • 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge (Shinkansen)
  • 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge (freight)
Electrified25 kV AC, 50 Hz
Operating speed160 km/h (100 mph)
  • 210 km/h (130 mph) for a few days in 2020 and 2021[1]
  • 250 km/h (155 mph) geometrically allowed

The Seikan Tunnel is the world's longest undersea tunnel by overall length (the Channel Tunnel, while shorter, has a longer undersea segment).[3] It is also the second-deepest transport tunnel below the sea level after the Ryfylke Tunnel, a road tunnel in Norway which opened in 2019, and the second longest main-line railway tunnel after the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, opened in 2016.[4][5][6]