Measuring 5,670 metres in length, Riqueval tunnel was built from 1802 to 1810 in the commune of Bellicourt. It enabled boats travelling along Saint-Quentin Canal to pass from the Somme Basin to the Escaut Basin. For over a century, a towing system involving an electric towboat was used to tow the barges through the underground tunnel, at an average speed of 2.5 km/h!
A Towing Museum based in an old electric towboat dating from 1910 has seven compartments telling the story of traction techniques from 1810 to the present day, the history of Saint-Quentin Canal and the tunnel, and life on board the towboat.
After your visit, head to the tunnel entrance at Saint-Quentin Canal, where you might be lucky enough to see the spectacle of the towboat in action!