World’s longest rail tunnel ready to begin service

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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The north portal of the Gotthard Base Tunnel
Swiss Travel System

The world’s longest rail tunnel, Switzerland’s Gotthard Base Tunnel, will launch service Dec. 11. The milestone project will transport passengers through the tunnel running below the Alps in less than 20 minutes, representatives say.  


The tunnel is dual-tracked and will better connect northern and southern Switzerland, decreasing travel times by 30–40 minutes from the German-language to Italian-language areas of Switzerland.

Representatives say the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has officially completed necessary safety and technical tests on the tunnel, and it is expected to bring passengers easier, faster and more comfortable service.

The new tunnel is also set to use new, modernized rolling stock, officials say.

The country currently offers the densest public transportation system worldwide, and celebrated the inauguration of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in June 2016, honoring the culmination of 17 years of project work. The tunnel spans 57 kilometers (35.4 miles) down to a maximum depth of 2,300 meters (1.4 miles) under the Gotthard massif.