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Thames Tunnel. Engraving of the Thames Tunnel in London, Britain, the first underwater tunnel for public use. The tunnel was built by M.I. Brunel assisted by his son, I.K. Brunel; construction began in 1825 and the tunnel was opened in 1843. It linked the suburbs of Wapping and Rotherhithe on opposite banks of the River Thames. The tunnel was 406 metres (1506 feet) long and in parts was only 4 metres below the river bed. The tunnel was originally used by pedestrians and to house shops. From 1865 the tunnel was used by trains and now forms part of the London Underground system.
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