We Need Longer Tunnels
by Zack K
The longest tunnel in the world is the Lærdal Tunnel, connecting Lærdal and Aurland in Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. It’s 15.23 miles long. The second longest tunnel is the Zhongnanshan Tunnel, in China, 11.2 miles long. The 3rd longest is the St. Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland, 10.2 miles long.
The longest tunnel in America? The Ted Williams/I90 Extension. Know how long it is? 1.6 miles. We suck. Chips Ahoy to their homemade. Jump for pics and videos. (This is the sure to be one of the odder, more nerdy things people who love driving could look up online. And since our readership is 90% male, how do you explain to your sig. other when they catch you looking at tunnel porn?)
As we all know, driving in tunnels is great. In the right car, it’s not icing on a cake, it’s a cake magically falling from the sky on top of mom’s fresh baked pie. You go around a corner and think, “Holy shit, cake!?!! YES!!!” Then: radio off, windows down, downshift as wanted and accelerate. Slow and repeat as necessary. Yesterday I was watching this video of a Ferrari 599 GTO ripping through a tunnel.
At the end I counted 52 seconds of time inside the tunnel. The driver was well into 5th gear a few times, meaning the tunnel was probably longer than 5.2 miles long. I decided to find out where the longest tunnels in the world are, and what I found out is that us American tunnel blasting enthusiasts are missing out. Like with underage drinking, all the fun is in Europe. Our longest is 1.6 miles, theirs is over 15. Of course, they hate freedom, so we win that contest but just imagine the fun we’re missing. Speeding in tunnels is not only the aged Burgundy paired with a proper car’s meaty sound, it gives a rare perspective of speed as well. The sound of your exhaust echoes off the walls like a line of trumpeters announcing their kings return, their trumpets playing the same note as you car.
This is the Lærdal Tunnel. 15.23 miles of acoustic heaven. If I were a country I’d take 5 exotic cars to this tunnel, record them driving through it at various speeds, and make that our national anthem. Try singing that, aspiring singer/aging singer-trying-to-stay-relevant. The Laerdal is incredible. It looks like a cave and has a cool, bluish lighting system designed to mimic sunrise to keep drivers awake, although to me, it looks a lot like fire. It’s the tunnel you’d drive through to get to Santa’s house.
I couldn’t find any videos of high-speed driving, but this looks pretty cool no matter the speed.
The second longest tunnel is the Zhongnanshan Tunnel, in China. It is 11.2 miles long. I’m not sure if this is the one the 599 railed through but with the Chinese car market buying up fast cars at a rate that could make Miami stab it with jealousy, I bet we’ll be seeing some loud pulls through Chinas many tunnels soon. That is, if they’re allowed to upload it.
The 3rd longest is St. Gotthard in Switzerland. It seems like a great place to blow your eardrums but 1. it’s congested and 2. it’s in Switzerland. For those that don’t know, Switzerland is to speeders what Singapore is to tobacco chewers. You see, Switzerland bases your fine on two things: The severity of your infraction and your income level. SO, say I top out my Miata at 112MPH (I’ve read it’s very stable at this speed). I’m barely over 100 and make no money but I’m sure a fine of 4 figures would be plausible. Think a few thousand dollars, for speeding. Ouch.
Now imagine you’re a guy in a Mercedes SLS AMG who got nailed doing 180MPH. Thanks to his
massive fortune of diamond baby seals large income, his fine was $962,00o. I know. Another man was popped in his Ferrari and slapped with a fine of $290,000. That was the world record, but the AMG guy now holds it. Congrats, Mercedes?
How deep does the dickish-ness go in their hearts of chocolate? They gave a ticket to a guy that sped past a speed camera while crashing. Check the photo:
Guy gets nailed by the auto photo cop while getting his ass kicked by the ground. They said he grabbed the brake when he saw the camera, slid out and dumped the bike. He and his bike slid past the camera at 107km/h (27km/h over the limit). Who would have thought the country that engineers flawless watches would be so strict?
So despite having a long, one-lane tunnel begging to have a Zonda shriek through loudly enough to shake the mountain, it’s not worth it to speed. That sentence hurt to write, because I rarely agree with it, but here it’s truly not worth it. And the cooler car you bring, the bigger the fine. Ooh, someone gimme a jet-powered Yugo. Loophole, bitch.
Maybe this can be my stimulus bill: build new tunnels, America. By building a new tunnel-preferably two lanes each way, with separate tunnels for each direction, no turnouts, stations or speed cameras-we can create jobs and solve America’s 10-mile tunnel blast deficiency. I say this is second in priority, behind finding a way to combine Family Guy, Cinnamon Chex and chili into a single gel cap.
As you’ve noticed, there’s a lack of high-speed videos of these tunnels online. If that situation is remedied, please alert me. Until then, enjoy these random videos of amazing tunnel fun. That sounds weird, doesn’t it? Turn up the volume.
M5 w/ Eiseenmann Exhaust.
Top Secret Skyline going over 200MPH.
Murcielago tearing though.
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List of longest tunnels: Business Insider
Photo Source: Fixedandwelded.com