Five of the best tunnels under construction in Europe

Across Europe, there are many exciting tunnels projects under way. The construction of rail and road tunnels is no small feat and involves the toughest construction equipment. Read more about what requirements machinery must meet and explore five of the best tunnelling projects in Europe with us – undersea and under mountains.

1. Brenner Base Tunnel, Austria and Italy

Brenner Base Tunnel

The Brenner Base Tunnel is a 64 km (40 mi) long railway tunnel connecting Innsbruck in Austria and Fortezza in Italy, replacing the current railway. The tunnel will consist of two tubes and be the longest underground railway connection in the world is being built.

2. Turin-Lyon High-Speed Railway Base Tunnel, France and Italy

Lyon-Turin

As part of the EU’s initiative for sustainable mobility, France and Italy are currently building a 57.5 km (36 mi) high-speed railway base tunnel under the Alps between the cities of Turin and Lyon. This major infrastructure project is part of the Trans-European Network (TEN-T) and will connect southwestern Europe with Central and Eastern European countries, aiming to shift freight trucks from Alpine roads to rail.

3. HS2 tunnels, UK

HS2 Tunnel

The UK is currently building HS2, a new high-speed railway linking up London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland. HS2 will dig 102 km (64 mi) of tunnels between London and the West Midlands alone. The tunnels will be built using different construction techniques, such as green tunnels and bored tunnels.

4. Fehmarnbelt link, Denmark and Germany

Fehmarnbelt

The Fehmarnbelt link will be an 18 km (11 mi) long immersed tunnel and will be the world's longest of its type for both road and rail. It will comprise a four-lane motorway and two electrified rail tracks. The amount of steel used in the tunnel is equivalent to about 50 Eiffel Towers and it will take about 8.5 years to build the Fehmarnbelt link. Once the tunnel is completed, it will take ten minutes to travel from Denmark to Germany by car and seven minutes by train.

5. Rail Baltica Tunnel, Estonia and Finland

Rail Baltica Tunnel

Currently just a proposal, the plans to connect Finland with Estonia via a 103 km (64 mi) tunnel would see the construction of the world’s longest subsea rail tunnel. It would be part of the wider Rail Baltica scheme, which stretches 750 km across several countries in the region, including Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Construction is estimated to take 10 years.