The Old Elbe River Tunnel

Illustration for article titled The Old Elbe River Tunnel

See, this is why we love Germany, no, it's not just for the beer. The city of Hamburg is situated on the Elbe river, with the dockyards situated on an island in the river. In the heady shipping days of Hamburg, workers on the busy port island had to travel by ferry to get to their jobs. In an effort to reduce river traffic and improve the commute, a tunnel was constructed to address the issue. Being Germans though, the tunnel couldn't just be a hole in the ground for people to pass through. Nope, this tunnel stretches out for 1,398 ft under the river, and is punctuated by huge freight elevators on both sides.


Hailed as a technological marvel, the tunnel opened for business in 1911. Featuring two 20 ft diameter tunnels 80 ft underground, the tunnels have matching elevators on both ends. The four elevators on either side are capable of carrying two cars at a time (or like fifteen if they're Smarts). While still in operation, the bulk of the traffic has shifted to more efficient bridges, but the tunnel is still used regularly by tourists and pedestrians. We want to see what a drag race down there would look like.


Raphael Orlove