Singha Malai Tunnel
Singha Malai Tunnel or Poolbank Tunnel is the longest railway tunnel in Sri Lanka.
|Official name||Tunnel No. 14|
|Other name(s)||Poolbank Tunnel|
|Location||Hatton, Sri Lanka|
|Constructed||F. W. Faviell|
|Owner||Sri Lanka Railways|
|Design engineer||Guilford Lindsey Molesworth|
|Length||562 m (1,844 ft)|
|Highest elevation||1,291 m|
|Width||5.5 m (18 ft)|
There are 46 tunnels along the Main Line between Colombo and Badulla. The longest tunnel is the Poolbank tunnel between Hatton and Kotagala, which is 562 m (1,844 ft) long, 5.5 m (18 ft) wide and has a curvature in the middle so that one end of the tunnel cannot be seen from the other end. In the middle of the tunnel the gradient begins to decline, with the Kotagala railway station being approximately 23 m (75 ft) lower than the Hatton railway station.
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. The tunnel's construction represented a significant engineering feat at the time, as it was bored from both ends meeting in the middle. The tunnel was named the Poolbank tunnel as it runs under the Poolbank tea estate, which was established in 1880. It is also called Singha Malai tunnel, after a nearby rock formation, Singha is Sinhalese for 'Lion' and Malai for 'Rock'.
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