Swiss Celebrate Completion of World's Longest Railway Tunnel

By Meera Dolasia on October 21, 2010

Word Search

On October 15th, the people of Switzerland celebrated with abandon, as the drill broke through the last piece of rock, finally connecting the two ends of the Gotthard Base Tunnel - The world's longest railway tunnel. The mammoth undertaking that cost about 10 billion USD took 2,600 workers, 12 years to accomplish - And, it's not done yet.

The final touches which include laying rail tracks inside the 35.4-mile, tunnel that has a diameter of 9-meters, is expected to take another seven years. Once complete it, will pave the way for high-speed rail travel between northern and southwestern Europe, with as many as, 300 trains screeching through daily.

This is not the first time the Swiss have cut a railway tunnel through this treacherous region. The Gotthard Rail Tunnel, which opened in 1882 is a nine-mile stretch, that accommodates over 150 freight trains daily. However, this new tunnel is much flatter, which will allow for longer freight trains and hence have the capability to carry twice the cargo. It will also be used for high-speed passenger trains and will cut the commute time from Zurich to Milan by an hour, to 2 hrs 40 mins.

While the engineering feat is certainly commendable, the reason the country undertook such a mammoth, seemingly impossible task is even more admirable. Despite being a tiny land-locked country, with a population of only 7.8 million people, Switzerland has always been in the forefront when it comes to environmental issues. Rail cargo already accounts for 35% of all shipments in the region, as opposed to about 18% for the entire European Union. This new tunnel will increase the cargo capacity even more and help remove heavy trucks off the road. The Swiss believe that other countries will follow their lead in building additional environmentally friendly rail routes.,

Share by EmailShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
to use your custom avatar.
  • E manTuesday, March 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm
    • jjMonday, November 22, 2010 at 6:59 am
      • jet lee adamMonday, November 22, 2010 at 6:48 am
        according to the article, swiss has completed the railway. i feel good for them and should be rewarded with big money. this is a great completion for swiss and for traders. good luck on the next 7 years
        • SdaTuesday, November 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm
          Pie is good
          • CaseyMonday, November 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm
            What would happen if the train broke down?
            • KRAZEE PERSON333Monday, November 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm
              • joeyMonday, November 8, 2010 at 7:42 am
                how many rail roads have they cut through and did they cut through a whole lot of rail roads to make one or are they just seperated and whos paying these people to cut through the rail roads
                • treefFriday, November 5, 2010 at 10:07 am
                  they are silly
                  • freefFriday, November 5, 2010 at 10:06 am
                    this is the lame attempt of the suiss trying to be as good as the austrians. never.
                    • ?Thursday, October 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm




                      Most Popular Articles

                      The World's Deepest Pool Is Scarily . . . Deep!
                      Making Sense Of The Ebola Virus
                      Candy That Doesn't Cause Cavities? Sweet!
                      The World's Deepest Pool Is Scarily . . . Deep!
                      Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject In School? Sweet!
                      Boo Mania Sweeps Over America (And The World)!
                      Are You Ready To 'Gangnam Style'?
                      Video Of The Week - If Frozen Was A Horror Movie . . .

                      Latest Comments

                      Lebron James wrote:

                      I'm to tall for that awesome sport.
                      New Sport in New York High Schools

                      1directionlover wrote:

                      wow im speechles this made my ja...
                      "Smart" Spray On Bandage Reports...

                      1234;) wrote:

                      I am doing something for a proge...
                      Introducing . . . The Speedy Lad...

                      Oton wrote:

                      that is awesome!!!!!!!!!
                      The World's Deepest Pool Is Scar...