Last update 15 March 2021
Often a vast engineering feature, and usually a big project at the time of construction, railway tunnels are a source of fascination to many. Most tunnels exist to give the railway the flattest route possible whilst getting it from one side of a feature (usually a hill) to the other. Other tunnels exist purely to hide the railway from land owners. This listing attempts to catalogue all British and Irish tunnels, giving their lengths where known. Please note that lengths quoted can vary depending on measurement source. Railway company names are abbreviated: these are as supplied by a correspondent and should be self explanatory or easily determined from the context combined with an internet search.
Thanks to a vast amount of data, the tunnel listing is split across multiple pages: please select from the list below. Page 4 contains industrial and narrow gauge lines, plus large bridges that are not officially tunnels but nevertheless may appear to be so.
This Forgotten Relics page may be of interest. The film within it describes how tunnels were built. Additionally, this online schematic atlas is a very worthy resource showing stations and tunnels.
This document dated 1979 is a British Rail catalogue of its listed buildings 17.5Mb file, opens in new tab. It is not limited to tunnels; there are undoubtedly other designations since then.
As a means of travelling above ground level, rather than below as on these pages, please see the viaducts pages. These bridge pages catalogue all bridges on operational lines in the context of their surrounding features.
Tables compiled in collaboration with the late Stewart Smith.