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Published on : Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Switzerland is about to cut the ribbon and officially inaugurate a 57 km long twin-bore Gotthard base tunnel that would abridge northern and southern Europe and shorten its distance with a high speed train link.
The new tunnel will ease out the traffic throughout the country, as there were limited options to conjoin the two parts. Spreading right under the Swiss Alps, the tunnel is breaking all the former record for world’s longest tunnel. Before long, Japan’s Seikan rail tunnel was holding the title with its 53.9 km long tunnel.
The new tunnel is flat and straight unlike the old one which winds up through the mountain. It would take about 17 minutes for a freight train or passenger train to cross the tunnel. About 260 freight and 65 passenger trains will be operating through this route.
The rail tunnel will link Rotterdam in Netherlands with Genoa in Italy.
The entire project was spent with $12 billion and was endorsed by Swiss voters in a 1992 referendum. The tunnel spreads up to 2.5 km below the Alps and the inner temperature of the tunnel stays within 46C. More than 28m tonnes of rocks of 73 kinds were removed to make this dream come true, which were enough to build several pyramids.
Peter Fueglistaler, the director of the federal transport office explained with ecstasy, “It is just part of the Swiss identity. For us, conquering the Alps is like the Dutch exploring the oceans.”