The Lupkov Tunnel represented
an important connection with Galicia

Photo source: www.severovychod.sk
Photo source: www.severovychod.sk
Photo source: www.rail.sk
Photo source: www.rail.sk

The Lupkov Tunnel, which crosses the state border, represents a railway connection between Palota in the Medzilaborce District and Lupkov, Poland. During the war, the tunnel and the railway were of strategic importance. The line passing through the Lupkov pass was the main supply route of the Austro-Hungarian army in Galicia. The beginning of its construction dates back to 1871. It is 416 meters long. 

The tunnel was protected from both sides during the First World War, but it was nevertheless damaged several times. It was first swamped by Austro-Hungarian troops in 1914 when they retreated before the Russian onslaught. For the second time at the beginning of World War II, Polish engineers blew up half of their part of the tunnel when Germany invaded their country. The tunnel was then reconstructed by the Germans, as they transported military equipment to the Eastern front. However, they damaged it themselves when they retreated before the Soviet army. 

In 1945, a construction brigade came to Medzilaborce to restore the destroyed tunnel. Its operation for passenger and freight transport was stopped and resumed several times. The last time was in 2017, when the operation of a seasonal tourist connection, which is still called the Train of Soldier Švejk, was launched. It connects the Slovak and Polish sides by rail during the summer.