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In-depth Instructions

Tunnels are useful for going under things you cannot move, or things that are too expensive to remove, like large mountains for example. You can't build a bridge over cities, stations or industries, but you can tunnel under them.

They can also be used in junctions as vehicles can pass through them without slowing down, unlike with some bridges.

Building tunnels

You can dig tunnels for roads and railways. Bear in mind that you can't change between road and rail in a tunnel without rebuilding the tunnel (although you can change between different types of rail).

  • Click on railway build button Manual html m772c5b23.png or road build button Manual html ma6d6c8c.png on the menu bar. Once clicked the railway construction or road construction toolbar pops up.
Railway construction toolbar
Road construction toolbar
  • Click on the tunnel button: railway Build traintunnel.png or road Build roadtunnel.png

The screenshots in this tutorial show railway tunnels, but constructing a road tunnel uses the same steps.

  • Move the cursor around the map to find a good spot for a tunnel. You can't dig a tunnel on a flat land, only on a hillside.
Tunnels can not be dug on flat land
  • Move the cursor over a slope and you can see the path of the tunnel you are about to build highlighted in white.
Tunnel can be dug here

To build the tunnel, just click on the sloped tile.

Congratulations, you have just dug a tunnel

Advanced tunnel building

If you want to tunnel somewhere that does not slope in the right place or direction, you will have to either raise or lower land to correct it and allow a tunnel to be built.

If there is a slope in an odd direction at the end of the tunnel, it will be automatically lowered so that the tunnel can be dug. However, you can't start digging the tunnel at such a slope; you must terraform it first.

Tunnel construction is possible even if it ends at an oddly-directed slope
The slope will be automatically lowered in order to dig a tunnel

Sometimes, the odd directed slope can't be lowered automatically because of obstacles on surrounding tiles. You will see an error window saying so.

Automatic slope lowering is impossible
The error message appears

Raise the land manually, so the tunnel end tile is a flat slope.

The tunnel can be built now


  • Tunnels cannot cross each other underground - you will be warned about it if you try. Also, you will be prevented from excavating the landscape from above if there is a tunnel underneath. However, there is a cheat that allows you to build crossing tunnels. With the cheat on, trains can cross other trains, also.
  • You cannot place signals inside railway tunnels so you may not have more than one train in a tunnel at once. Very long tunnels can therefore slow down your rail networks.
  • It appears that there is increased friction (whether with air or rail is unknown) when a train is travelling through a tunnel. A train can go faster outside of a tunnel than it can inside. (Note: This may be due to realistic acceleration - did not test.)
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