The world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel Gotthard Base Tunnel was inaugurated in Switzerland. The 57-kilometer long tunnel that connects northern and southern Europe has overtaken Japan’s Seikan tunnel, which measures 53.9 kilometers. The twin-bore tunnel is the first flat low-level route through the Alps Mountain and is situated 2.3 km deep under the Alps. It is part of the AlpTransit project, also known as New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA).
Main purpose of the Gotthard Base Tunnel:
- Increase total transport capacity across the Alps, especially for freight.
- Shift freight volumes from road to rail to reduce fatal crashes and environmental damage caused by ever-increasing numbers of heavy lorries.
- Provide a faster connection between northern and southern Europe, cutting journey time for passenger trains by about an hour.