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Switzerland Holds World's Longest And Deepest Rail Tunnel; Now Open For Public Use

Travelers Today       By    Jovie Lyn Alejandro

Updated: Dec 12, 2016 05:18 PM EST

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Switzerland holds the record of the world's longest rail tunnel and most expensive tunneling project. The well-known Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) was given a formal opening in June that was attended by some of the European leaders like the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel; the French President, François Hollande; Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann. The leaders were the first passengers in its ceremonial first journey.

The tunnel was opened for public use this month. Regular passenger trains begin using the 35-mile GBT, carrying commuters deep under the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Lugano. The first passenger train to travel through the tunnel departed from Zurich Sunday morning, December 11. The project took 17 years to materialized. It was funded by the government of Switzerland at a cost of more than 12bn Swiss francs (£8.4bn) but it also received financial and engineering backing from around the European Union.

According to the Swiss federal railway service, the quantity of daily passengers is anticipated to rise from 9,000 to 15,000 by 2020. The world-class tunnel is set to lessen the train voyage from Zurich to Milan in northern Italy to 2hr 40min, estimate an hour less than the normal route. It will also increase the freight volume of Switzerland's rail system and lessen the number of loads on the roads that causes fatal crashes and traffic that usually caused by truck freight.

According to The Guardian, "The primary machine used to make the Gotthard tunnel was about 410 metres long and functioned like a mobile factory. It cuts through rock and throws the debris backwards while simultaneously placing the pre-formed segments of concrete that form the shape of the tunnel. A separate system then bonds the pieces together." It has a maximum depth of more than 2,300 meters (7,590 feet), making it also the world's deepest tunnel. Switzerland's tunnel exceeded Japan's 33.5-mile (53.9km) Seikan tunnel and the Channel Tunnel which measures 50.5-kilometer, it connects England to France.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
switzerland , Swiss , World's Longest Rail Tunnel , World's Deepest Rail Tunnel , Gotthard Base Tunnel , european union , Zurich , Lugano , swiss alps , Swiss federal railway
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