Under construction for the last 20 years, the £6.5 billion Gotthardt Base Tunnel running through the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Milan has now finally been completed and is scheduled to open to the public on June 1st 2016.
The Swiss are renowned the world over for their intelligent transport systems, as well as their unrivalled quality of manufacturing, chocolates, cheeses & cuckoo clocks and the Gotthardt Base Tunnel raises the bar of expectation even higher if that is even possible.
1000 lucky people will be selected to traverse through the tunnel in January next year before it opens officially in June.
Safety tests will be conducted this October.
"After opening the tunnel, it will be the safest stretch of the Swiss railway network,” assured CEO of AlpTransit Gotthardt, Renzo Simoni.
A Day in the Life of the Gotthardt Base Tunnel
- 2000 engineers & construction workers laboured non-stop round the clock to build the tunnel, 8 workers died during construction.
- 100 feet of rock was excavated each day by boring machines.
- By the time construction was completed, over 2 million truck-loads of rock was removed from depths reaching 8,000 miles.
4 Reasons Why the Gotthardt Base Tunnel Is An Engineering Masterpiece
The Gotthardt Base Tunnel can be crowned Switzerland’s magnum opus of engineering feats.
1. Since the early 13th Century, The St. Gotthardt Pass has been an integral connecting route between northern & southern Europe. This train tunnel will cut transport time from Zurich to Milan by 1 hour. Travel time between the two cities is expected to be just under 3 hours: 2 hours and 50 minutes to be exact!
2. Despite what the name implies, the Gotthardt tunnel actually consists of 2 parallel tunnels so the trains can run in both directions within separate tunnels ensuring the quietest, smoothest & safest commute possible.
3. At 1,650 feet above sea level, the tunnel is almost completely flat allowing trains to travel its length at over 150 miles per hour!
4. The tunnel runs for 38 miles surpassing the length of Japan’s Seikan Tunnel which measures 14.5 miles long.
The Ceneri Base Tunnel
Another Swiss engineering marvel, the 10 mile Ceneri Base Tunnel is due to open in 2019, 3 years after the Gotthardt. This tunnel will be the final puzzle-piece which completes the northern-southern train corridor mosaic within Switzerland.
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