LONGEST RAILWAY TUNNEL IN THE WORLD: Gotthard Base Tunnel BREAKTHROUGH ! Clearing the final pieces of rock with a massive drilling machine named Sissi, the 35 mile / 57 km long project reached today a major milestone, linking the two sides. Since 14 years huge boring machines have been tunneling through the mountain from Erstfeld in the north and Bodio in the south to construct the longest railway tunnel in the world. The statue of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners, came first through a small hole in the enormous drilling machine 8200 ft underground in central Switzerland. The $10 billion rail link is expected to open for business, including passenger and freight trains, in 2017. Trains will be able to speed through the tunnel at 155mph / 250 kph. At the moment the mine railway has to do a big job still to come. Beside of the big historic moment we should remember the 8 persons, which lost their lives since beginning of the tunnel work. During building the first Gotthard tunnel in 1882 177 miners lost their live.
See also the video of this historic moment on on http://www.videoportal.sf.tv/video?id=b5492360-1a6a-4c4c-99e0-c87145937c5e;DCSext.zugang=videoportal_teaserbox