Tunnel is the second oldest subway in the world after London subway. This tunnel was initiative of French engineer Eugene Henri Gavand. He got his motivation from observing people constantly moving between Galata and Pera. Those were commercial and bankind center of that period and this tunel would provide alternative route for business man and diplmats. This project started in 1871 and finished in 1874. The tunnel started its operation back in 1875 after magnificent ceremony attended by local and foreign statesman.
Initially the energy for tunnel facilities were provided by two steam engines with horsepower of 150. These wagons were open on both sides and illuminated by the gas lamps as there was no electricity at that time. In 1910, the trams were converted to electricity. The tunnel was handed over to Ottoman in 1911 and was titled as Tahtelariarz Railway in the Galata and Beyoglu Brain. It was nationalized in 1939 in turn for 175 thousand Turkish Lira.
The tunnel was not used in Second World War but after renovation the tunnel started working again in 1968 and put up to service on 2 November 1971. The tunnel is capable of carrying 170 wagons with a 16 lengths using 350 hp covering 573 meters in approximately in 90 seconds.
Tunnel has served as one of the most important transportation way for Istanbulites for many years. It is still considered as an important transportation medium but now it has more historic significance.