Located near Klevan in Ukraine, the three to five kilometers long Tunnel of Love is a section of industrial railway that links it with Orzhiv in the Rivne region of Ukraine. The whole line is about 6.4 km long, which starts at Klevan station and reaches the northern area of Orzhiv, also served by a station on the main line. A part of the track is covered by forest, within which this tunnel stretches anywhere from 3 to about 5 km. In fact, the trees on each side of the track form a more or less continuous canopy overhead, giving the effect of a tunnel.
The long tunnel made of overarching, intertwined trees, carpeted with lush green foliage, looks almost like out of the world, unreal or something out of a fairy tale. For the first couple of years the pictures of the magical tunnel appeared intermittently in the Social media, but there was little information available. Nobody seemed to know where or what it was, since in those days the internet was not aware about its existence. However, everybody agreed that it was phenomenal, breathtaking and romantic.
Finally, it turned out to be the part of a private railway in Ukraine that runs three times a day to a factory near the town of Klevan. The Odek plywood factory, in the village of Orzhiv produces plywood for the Western European market and they use the railway track. Birch trees from across Ukraine are trucked in and then turned into plywood panels in the factory. After that, the finished plywood panels are loaded into the containers, and their journey to the Western Europe begins. With a toot of the horn, the Odek factory train sets off for the Klevan railway junction, seven km from the factory. There the containers are transferred to a freight train and hauled west along the main trunk line. The track looks like any other railway track for the first few hundred metres, but soon it changes its colour and character as the trees close in. According to Alla Sadovnyk, a local journalist, there is a specific reason behind it and it dates back to the days of the Cold War. Close to the factory, the railway splits into two and the left track terminates near a military base hidden in the forest. During the strict Soviet era, trees were deliberately planted alongside the track to hide the transport of military hardware, for reasons best known to them.
However, the love tunnel may bring disasters too. A few years ago, a 38-year-old Japanese woman was struck by the train and fractured her hip. But, according to the train operators, that was only a freak event and they are not at all worried about growing numbers of tourists in the tunnel. But the factory managers know that the tunnel they have helped to grow is now bigger than their own authority. The tunnel has no official protection and in 2013, there was an outcry when several trees were cut down to aid passage of the train. Since then, not a single tree has been touched.
According to the locals, the tunnel is a source of their pride. They fondly call it the Tunnel of Love, and it is a favourite place for the young lovers, who love to walk hand in hand in romantic seclusion. It is also said that the tunnel has a magical power and couples who make a wish here and whose love is sincere, will find that their wish comes true. Considered as one of the most romantic sights in Ukraine, the tunnel of love universally attracts the attention of the romantics and the honeymooners.