Did you know there were trains in the Caribbean? How about train tunnels? Knolly’s Tunnel in Trinidad and Tobago is not only a well preserved tunnel, but it’s also the longest tunnel in the Caribbean at 660 feet in length.
Then acting Colonial Governor of Trinidad and Tobago, Sir Courtney Knolly officially opened the tunnel August 20, 1898 and it remained in operation for about sixty seven years (last train through it was in 1965). Knolly’s Tunnel was built to facilitate the extension of the rial line from Cunupia to Tabaquite. The train line was extended to allow the cocoa estates to move their produce out of the area (Tabaquite, Caparo Valley, Brasso and Longdenville).
After many years of neglect Knollys Tunnel was partially restored by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. On Tuesday 13th August 1991 the Honourable Minister of the Environment and National Service, Dr. Lincoln Myers, reopened the tunnel as a national heritage site.
Some tips if traveling to the area to visit the Knolly’s Tunnel:
- best time to visit is early in the dry season when the scenery is sill lush and green and there’s no mud/slush (south end.. leading to Brasso)
- pack a picnic – there are tables at the top of the tunnel
- bring a camera with a good zoom lens – many trees, flowers and birds to capture
- the inside of the tunnel is very bumpy (pot holes) so keep that in mind if you plan on driving through
- during the rainy season the south end will be muddy (not paved)
- I’d recommend driving from Tabaquite (north end) and go though the south end to the community of Brasso. The drive through the Mahogany field in Brasso is beautiful.
- Once you get into the village of Tabaquite there are signs leading to the tunnel and if you miss them you can always ask a local. The villagers are very friendly.
- The gas station on the main road (junction where the road leading to the tunnel starts) is the only one for miles.
I invite you to now watch the video of Knolly’s Tunnel, Tabaquite Trinidad and Tobago.