After nearly seventeen years of labor, the new Gotthard Tunnel, which links northern Italy and Switzerland, opened on June 1, 2o16. The tunnel cuts through thirty five miles of the Gotthard massif’s granite core.
The statistics are fascinating:
- 200,000 Swiss Francs per meter to dig the tunnel
- 23 Billion Swiss Francs to complete the project
- Nine lives were lost during construction
- 152 MPH – App. 250 Km/Hr – top speed for trains in the tunnel
- 260 Freight trains (the key to repayment, in fees and duties, for the cost of the project) and up to sixty-five passenger trains per day will use the tunnel
- The train tunnel cuts nearly forty-five minutes from the train journey from Lugano and Zurich
- Connections into Italy from Switzerland and return are made measurably easier
- One other tunnel, the Ceneri Base Tunnel, will be completed in 2019, further reducing the travel times between Italy and Switzerland
- Safety and security measures beyond any previously constructed tunnel of this type anywhere in the world
I defer to this fascinating video from SWI to share with you the scale, even the poetic beauty, of this incredible engineering feat.