Karawanks Tunnel (railway)

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The northern entrance to the tunnel
The southern entrance to the tunnel
The northern entrance to the tunnel during the Austro-Slovene conflict in Carinthia, 1918 or 1919.

The Karawanks Tunnel (German: Karawankentunnel, Slovene: Predor Karavanke) is the fourth longest railway tunnel in Austria and the longest in Slovenia with a length of 7,976 metres (26,168 ft) (4.96 miles). The tunnel passes under Rožca Saddle between Rosenbach in southern Austria and Jesenice in northern Slovenia. It was an important part of the Karawanken Railway, which was - together with the Bohinj Railway - built to connect the port of Trieste with Klagenfurt, the capital of the federal state of Carinthia in Austria.[1]

Between 1867-1918, Trieste was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was Austria's first seaport and the principal outlet for the Austro-Hungarian Empire's ocean trade, but it lacked adequate railway communication with Austria's interior. To give a great impetus to the trade of Trieste in particular and to the over-sea trade of Austria in general, it was decided in 1901 to build the Karawanken Railway, connecting Trieste and Klagenfurt. The railway was built over and through the Karawanks, Europe's longest (120 km/70 mi) mountain range, on the border between what are now Slovenia and Austria. The Karawanks Tunnel was opened on October 1, 1906, by Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

The tunnel is still of importance to international train traffic. It is traversed by more than 80 trains a day.[2]


Coordinates: 46°31′16″N 14°01′34″E / 46.521°N 14.026°E / 46.521; 14.026