The longest railway tunnel in the world

The longest railway tunnel in the world - December 18, 2003
Nils reports: Here's another amazing construction project which you might have heard about (I once saw a documentary on German TV about it): The longest railway tunnel in the world through the Gotthard Massif of the Swiss Alps between Erstfeld and Bodio (AlpTransit; AKA Gotthard Base Tunnel or NEAT - Neue Eisenbahn-Alpentransversale, New Railway Crossing of the Alps).
Length: 57 km
Highest point: 550 m
Rock cover: up to 2300 m
End of excavation work scheduled for 2009
Begin of rail operations: 2011 (another document says 2014?)
With trains reaching speeds up to 250 kph, it will cut the travel time between Zurich and Milano from 4 hrs 15 min to 2 hrs 10 min. Their website
It has some nice photos and also animated graphics about the building progress (only in German language) for the project (click on "detailed view of the building progress") and for the 5 sub-sections: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
In the graphics, red colour means "tunneling (=excavation) work completed", green means "tunneling and tunnel construction work completed."

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