Pattipola Tunnel

Pattipola Railway Tunnel, or the Summit Tunnel, is the third longest and the highest railway tunnel in Sri Lanka.[1][2] It is located approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) away from the Pattipola railway station, straddling the boundary of the Badulla and Nuwara Eliya Districts.

Pattipola Tunnel
Official nameTunnel No. 18
Other name(s)Summit Tunnel
LocationPattipola, Sri Lanka
Coordinates6°50′32″N 80°50′19″E
RouteMain Line
ConstructedF. W. Faviell
ClosedJanuary 1951
RebuiltMarch 1951
OwnerSri Lanka Railways
Design engineerGuilford Lindsey Molesworth
Length321.95 m (1,056.3 ft)
Highest elevation1,897 m (6,224 ft)

The tunnel was designed by Sir Guilford Lindsey Molesworth, the first director-general of Railways in Ceylon (1865–1871), and constructed by F. W. Faviell.[3]

In January 1951 the concrete lining of the tunnel collapsed due to the activities of the Garret Engines that were running on the Main Line at that time. Permanent repairs were completed in March 1951 by the district engineer, Priyal de Silva.[4][5] In 1981 the tunnel was renovated, with the removal of the concrete arches installed in 1951.


  1. Perera, G. F. (1925). The Ceylon Railway: The Story of Its Inception and Progress. The Ceylon Observer. p. 98.
  2. Cave, Henry William (1908). The Book of Ceylon: Being a Guide to Its Railway System and an Account of Its Varied Attractions for the Visitor and Tourist. Cassell Ltd. p. 448.
  3. Ratnasinghe, Aryadasa (3 January 1999). "A historic journey in 1864". Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  4. Rampala, B. D. (1991). History of the Sri Lanka Government Railway. Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka. pp. 161–162. ISBN 9789559119005.
  5. "Transactions". Sri Lankan Institute of Engineers. 1981: 11. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Further reading

  • Fernando, Hemasiri. The Uva Railway – Railway to the Moon. ISBN 978-955-44167-1-0.
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