World’s Longest Rail Tunnel Enters Service in Switzerland
Yesterday, Sunday 11 December, marked the start of normal commercial traffic through the 35-mile (57km) Gotthard Base Tunnel, which took 17 years to build, at a cost of over 12bn Swiss francs (£9.3bn).
Regular rail service through the world’s longest rail tunnel has begun, carrying passengers deep under the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Lugano. The ambitious Gotthard Base tunnel project has been praised across Europe for its pioneering efforts to improve connectivity from Rotterdam to the Adriatic.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel is now not only the longest, but also the smartest and safest tunnel in the world. Experience the journey here!
The famed tunnel was given a ceremonial opening in June, attracting European leaders including the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, François Hollande, for its first ride.
“It’s Christmas,” Andreas Meyer, the chief of the Swiss national rail service, SBB, was quoted as saying by ATS after the journey was over.
The guardian explains how the Swiss-funded tunnel was largely made possible by technical advances in tunnel-boring machines, which replaced the costly and dangerous blast-and-drill method.