The world’s longest train tunnel opened in Switzerland

passenger trainA passenger train of Swiss railway operator SBB leaves the northern gates of the NEAT Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world's longest train tunnel, during a test run, near the town of Erstfeld, Switzerland November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The first train ran Sunday through the world’s longest train tunnel, the 57.1 km long Gotthard tunnel runs under the Swiss Alps.

The train drove from Zurich to Lugano, and the trip went more than 30 minutes faster than before. The shortcut has taken 17 years to build and cost over 100 billion Norwegian kroner.

– We have trained for this for a long time and are happy to finally be underway, says Andreas Meyer, head of the Swiss National Rail (SBB).

The official opening of the partly EU-funded tunnel was in June.

The opening ceremony included Germany’s Prime Minister Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

The 57 km long tunnel is designed to revolutionize freight transport in Europe and remove the need for 1 million trailer transports annually, which will involve a sharp cuts in harmful emissions and other pollution.

Gotthard tunnel has not only taken the title as the world’s longest railway tunnel from the 53.8 km long Seikan tunnel in Japan, it goes 2.3 km below ground and will thus become the world’s deepest tunnel also.

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today