The Altona Harbour railway tunnel, known locally as the Schellfischtunnel (‘Haddock’ tunnel) lies in the centre of Hamburg. The tunnel linked the large mainline Altona station with the dockside of the Elbe fishing port. The tunnel was completed in 1876 to replace an earlier inclined plane and the majority of the freight carried was fish, hence its nickname. Built on a slight curve, the tunnel was originally 395 metres long and was extended to 961 metres when the mainline station moved in 1895.
Inside the tunnel the track is still in place and there are a variety of tunnel lining materials. When the S-Bahn (lines S1 and S3) was extended to Altona in the 1970s, the Haddock tunnel was used for construction access and the remains of the construction shaft are still clearly visible and the sound of passing trains can easily be heard. The line closed to traffic in 1992 but some of the tunnel was strengthened some years after this as it was deemed cheaper to do this rather than infill to maintain its structural strength. The tunnel has been opened for public visits during European heritage weekends in September for a number of years.