World’s Deepest Train Tunnel to Open

World’s Deepest Train Tunnel to OpenWorld’s Deepest Train Tunnel to Open

The world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel is to be officially opened in Switzerland, after almost two decades of construction work. The 57-km twin-bore Gotthard base tunnel will provide a high-speed rail link under the Swiss Alps between northern and southern Europe. Switzerland says it will revolutionize European freight transport. Goods currently carried on the route by a million lorries a year will go by train instead, BBC reported. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italy’s PM Matteo Renzi will join Swiss officials at the grand opening. “It is just part of the Swiss identity,” federal transport office director, Peter Fueglistaler, told Reuters. “For us, conquering the Alps is like the Dutch exploring the oceans.” The project, which cost more than $12 billion to build, was endorsed by Swiss voters in a referendum in 1992. Voters then backed a proposal from environmental groups to move all freight travelling through Switzerland from road to rail two years later. The completed tunnel travels up to 2.3 km below the surface of the mountains above and through rock that reaches temperatures of 46C.