World’s Longest Railway Tunnel Now Open In Switzerland

Looks like Japan no longer holds the title of having world’s longest railway tunnel since Switzerland has just opened Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT). The tunnel is 35.4 miles in length and is located 7545 feet below the Gotthard massif, through Swiss Alps. The tunnel is said to provide a high-speed rail link between northern and southern Europe under the Swiss Alps.

Image Source: Transport Authorities From Each Country

The idea has been under consideration since 1947 but the construction started 18 years ago. The project cost more than $12bn (£8.3bn) to materialize and was endorsed in 1992 by Swiss voters in a referendum.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) stretches up to 2.3 km under the mountains and rocks, some of them having temperatures  upto 46 degree Celsius.

Image Source: BBC News

The site engineers had to dig and blast their way out through 73 different kinds of rocks. Almost 28m tonnes of rock had to be excavated which was later used to make concrete for building the tunnel.

Source: Swiss Government

The tunnel can accommodate 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains and is being financed by fuel taxes, road charges and state loans that are due within a decade.

The train is said to boost country’s economy by providing easier movement of goods and increased tourism. So are you going to see this engineering marvel for yourself? Let us know in the comments section!

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