The world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel is built thousands of feet below the Swiss Alps. The Gotthard Base Tunnel runs from Asertfeld in the central canton of Uri in Switzerland to Bodio in the canton of Southern Ticino. It took about 17 years to build this tunnel. Its construction started in 1996. It was opened in June 2016 and cargo service started from 11 December 2016.
This double tunnel is 57 km long and 2.3 km below ground level. The temperature here is up to 46 degrees Celsius. Above it are high mountains. The tunnel is 550 meters above sea level and 2300 meters below the highest mountain crest in Switzerland. 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains pass through this tunnel every day. A train runs at a speed of 200 km per hour on the track.
It is said that during the construction of the tunnel, some stones as hard as granite and as soft as sugar came out. During this process, 2.8 million tons of stone were extracted. More than 2,500 laborers were employed to install fencing, electricity and cables.