The 4 km Tike Tunnel is one of the 91 tunnels built on the Konkan Railways’ route. It is one of the longest tunnels on the rail line and comes between Ratnagiri, the place famous for its mangoes and Nivasar in Maharashtra. The tunnel is part of the amazing route going through the hills of the lush green mountains of Western Ghats.
Construction of Tike Tunnel and Konkan Rail Line
Like all the tunnels and bridges on the Konkan Railway route, Tike Tunnel has also been built on the difficult terrain of the mountainous region of the Western Ghats. It was built in 1997 under the aegis of the expert engineering team of Konkan Railways.
It was a great challenge for Railway engineers to construct the route with 91 tunnels and 2000 bridges along the rough mountainous terrain of the region. Under the leadership of India’s famous Railwayman Dr. E Sreedharan, the entire rail route was built with due diligence in a record time of eight years. The team had to face many challenges due to the unpredictable landscape of the Western Ghats with its steep rocks, rivers, rivulets, and sandy soil. The rough weather during monsoons meant the work had to be stalled many times.
It was in 1989 that the work to lay a railway track in the Konkan region had started. There was a need to build a railway line to connect the coastal towns of Western India. The Konkan Railways connects the financial capital of India, Mumbai with the coastal city of Karnataka, Mangalore. Before the rail project, there did not exist any railway line. Commuters had to either travel by road or take inland trains, which meant a lot of travel time.
The Tike Tunnel is the tunnel number 39 or T-39 if you travel from the Mumbai end. The tunnel was dug up with special imported equipment brought in from Sweden. The excavation was a tough task. Many times the team had to repeat digging at the same place as the tunnel would cave in because of moist soil. The team had to put many safety measures because of the falling rocks and loose boulders around the tunnel route.
The Tike tunnel and the Konkan railway is a prestigious project for India. It displays the incredible feat of India’s engineers. The Konkan railway is a boon for people of the coastal towns of west India as it has created a quicker and easier route for commute. The single track railway line covers the entire stretch of three states of India – Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. It is operational for both passenger and freight trains.
Experience travel through the Tike Tunnel
If you want to experience the entire scenic stretch of the Konkan Railways route, then it will take around 20 hours for the entire journey from Mumbai to Mangalore or vice a versa.
You can also take the train in parts from Mumbai to Goa or Mangalore to Goa. The Tike Tunnel will come under the Maharashtra division; hence the better option is the Mumbai to Goa part. The Tike Tunnel comes between Ratnagiri station and Nivasar. It will surely be a wonderful journey as you will watch the surrounding natural beauty, sitting by the window of the train chugging its way through the mountains and valleys of the Western Ghats.
Photo by el-toro