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World’s longest tunnel opens for service

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57-kilometre rail tunnel took 17 years to build
Regular rail traffic has begun through the world’s longest tunnel, carrying passengers deep beneath the peaks of the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Lugano.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel, or GBT, already had a ceremonial opening in June with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande hopping in for the maiden journey.
Now scheduled commercial rail services have started, the first train pulling out of Zurich at 06:09 and arriving in Lugano at 08:17, slicing 30 minutes off the route’s earlier travel time.
The tunnel took 17 years to build at a cost of over 12 billion Swiss francs (€11.2 billion). Japan’s 53.9km Seikan tunnel is now in second place, the 50.5km Channel Tunnel between Britain and France in third.
AFP

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