15 October 2010

Stop Drilling! Longest Railway Tunnel in the World Completed

Although the world has had its eyes on the progress of drilling in Chile – and how wonderful it has been to see good news on the front page of newspapers – there is even more good tunnel related news, this time from Europe.

The Swiss Alps and Italy are now connected via a railway tunnel.  The drilling of the tunnel stopped today and the tunnel through the Gotthard massif is 35.4 miles long.  It will enable passengers and goods to get from Switzerland to Italy an hour quicker than at the moment.  It cost $999m to create and has taken fourteen years for the tunnel to be completed.

So, is it worth the 1200 US dollars that each and every Swiss tax payer has had to stump up to deliver the tunnel to the world?  The Swiss seem to think so. The tunnel has a dual purpose – to shave time off journeys between the two countries but also to take heavy goods vehicles off the roads in a bid to help the preservation of the beautiful Swiss Alps.

It gets our vote too.