The World’s Most Longest and Deepest Rail Tunnel Opened in Switzerland On June 1, 2016 as the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel opened in Switzerland and named the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) connects trips between France and the United Kingdom together To and Fro. On June 1, 2016, the Gotthard Base Tunnel opened in Switzerland. Running 35 miles (57 km) under St. Gotthard Pass in the Swiss Alps, it eclipsed Japan’s Seikan Tunnel (an undersea link between Honshu and Hokkaido) as the world’s longest rail tunnel.
Leaders from across Europe attended the gala opening ceremony, and French Pres. François Hollande used the opportunity to evoke the image of the Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) as a symbol of European unity.
The Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) is now the world’s third longest rail tunnel, connected France and the United Kingdom in 1994, and Hollande’s comments were an obvious reference to Britain’s upcoming “Brexit” referendum on the country’s continued membership in the European Union(EU). That Hollande was making these comments in Switzerland, a country that has long prided itself on maintaining an arm’s-length relationship with the EU, was particularly ironic.
Swiss voters had first approved the massive undertaking in 1992, and ground was broken on the tunnel seven years later. Perhaps most notable is that the $12 billion project was completed within its projected budget and nearly a year ahead of schedule.
It is estimated that when the tunnel begins regular operations in December, more than 250 freight trains and scores of passenger trains will travel its length each day. Much of the freight that had previously traveled over winding Alpine roads will be transferred to the tunnel, and because the tunnel was built at virtually zero-grade, it can accommodate higher-speed trains that require fewer locomotives and can carry a lot of passengers.
See More Photos of the World’s Longest & Deepest Rail Tunnel Opened in Switzerland On June 1, 2016, the Gotthard Base Tunnel below…
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