Gotthard Base Tunnel Complete in Switzerland (Photos)
After 14 Years, the Gotthard Base Tunnel in the Swiss Alps Was Finally Completed
The Gotthard Base Tunnel is the longest railway tunnel in the world, and on Friday the giant drilling machine (known as Sissi), cut through the rock to connect both ends.
The tunnel is 57 km long and the BBC has some fantastic pictures of the tunnel's construction and breakthrough.
After the final breakthrough, 50 miners carrying flags representing the regions of Switzerland involved in the construction walked through the opening, Rahel Probst of AlpTransit Gotthard, told CNN.
"It all went very well, the drilling machine went through the rock and the tunnel was there," said Probst.
Previously the longest railway tunnel in the world was the Seikan rail tunnel in Japan, which is 53.9 km long, but the Gotthard Base Tunnel beats that record.
It will allow travelers between Zurich and Milan to travel between the two in just two-and-a-half hours, rather than three-and-a-half, and will allow freight trains to travel easier and more economically.
According to CNN, the tunnel cost $10.6 billion to construct and has employed over 2,500 workers.
It is expected to be operational by the end of 2017.