Gotthard Basis Tunnel - A fresh breeze is blowing through the Alps
For 14 years miners have been drilling, milling and blasting rock deep under the Alps for the new Gotthard Base Tunnel. At 2.17 pm on October, 16 the gigantic tunnel drill Sissi broke through the final 1.5 meters of rock to join the ends of the Tunnels. At a length of 57 kilometers, the tunnel is now the longest in the world. In 2017, when the Gotthard rail tunnel is finished, the tunnel will shorten the journey time of railways from the north of Switzerland to the south enormously and thus help shift passenger traffic as well as freight traffic from road to rail. Various European Minister of Transport as well as the EU-Commissioner of Transport Sim Kallas acknowledged the breakthrough accordingly. One important milestone has been accomplished, but to reach the target further efforts are needed. Work on the tunnel continues with the installation of railway technology and adjustments to routings in Switzerland as well as in Germany and Italy.