Karbude Tunnel – The Longest Tunnel of Konkan Railways

The 6.5 kilometres long Karbude Tunnel that one passes through when travelling with the Konkan Railways, is the second longest tunnel in India. The tunnel is located in the beautiful hills of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra state of India.  It comes between Ukshi and Bhoke station near the coastal town of Ratnagiri. Karbude was the longest railway tunnel of India till the 11.21 km Pir Panjal tunnel had been constructed in 2013.

Construction of the Tunnel

The tunnel was built when the historic Konkan railway route was established to connect the west coast cities of Mumbai and Mangalore. It was an important railway project, specially for people of Konkan region as there never existed a railway line to connect the coastal towns along the route of the Arabian sea. People had to either travel by road or take trains running through inland India, which meant quite a lot of travelling time.

It was in 1989 that work to lay the Konkan Railway Line had started. The construction of the entire railway line was a challenging affair as it was located in the rough terrain of the hilly Western Ghats. It was tough to dig in the soft soils of the Sahayadri mountain range to create tunnels and build bridges. However, under the super-efficient leadership of famous railway man Dr. E Sreedharan and bunch of expert engineers of India, the railway line was completed in record time of 8 years. The rail route is single track and operational for both passenger and freight trains.

Hydraulic tunnel-digging equipment were specially brought in from Sweden to dig the many tunnels on the Konkan railways, including the Karbude Tunnel. There are total of 91 tunnels and around 2000 bridges built on the curvaceous Konkan Railway route. Karbude tunnel is the tunnel number 35 on the railway line from Mumbai side.

Konkan railway photo
ERS – OKHA ExP by Belur Ashok under CC BY 2.0

The Karbude tunnel is not only an important element for smooth railway operations but also an engineering feat that India Railways takes pride in. It is an essential part of the 738 kms Konkan railway line.

How to pass through the Karbude Tunnel

If you want to experience a journey through multiple tunnels, ride on several bridges, and specially the Karbude Tunnel, then book a train ticket of Konkan Railways. You will travel through the most amazing scenic beauty surrounded by lush green hills, picturesque waterfalls and rivers flowing towards the sea.

If you want to enjoy the Karbude Tunnel then do take ticket to travel to at least Ratnagiri. The Konkan railway covers three major states Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. You can travel in an upward or downward train from any one of the states. Keep counting the number of tunnels and bridges and enjoy the spectacular view. If you are travelling from Mumbai then count 34 tunnels and the 35th is Karbude Tunnel.

Featured Photo:  by urbz under CC BY 2.0

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