World’s longest and most expensive railway tunnel to open in Switzerland

  • 8 years ago
ZURICH — The world’s longest and most expensive railway tunnel opens on Wednesday in Switzerland.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel originates in Erstfeld in the canton of Uri and ends in Bodio in the canton of Tessin.

Stretching 57 kilometers long, it will overtake Japan’s Seikan Tunnel and the Channel Tunnel between England and France as the world’s longest.

At 2.3km under the Alps, it will also be the deepest railway tunnel in the world.

The tunnel uses a system of two one-way tracks, linked by emergency escape routes. Trains travel on an almost entirely flat track and are able to reach maximum speeds of 250 kilometers per hour.

The tunnel will cut the train journey time between Zurich and Milan by one hour to just about three hours.

The tunnel will be also used for freight trains. About 260 freight trains will be able to use the tunnel per day, compared to a maximum of 180 trains using the current route.

It is hoped that the tunnel will reduce the Alpine road traffic and consequently reduce CO2 emissions.