Gotthard Base Tunnel Current Affairs

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Gotthard Base Tunnel, world’s longest rail tunnel starts regular service

The famed Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) has started regular commercial rail service in Switzerland. The first regular train to use GBT ferried passenger from Zurich to Lugano.

The twin-bore GBT is world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel with length of 57-kilometer. It had overtaken Japan’s Seikan tunnel (53.9 kilometers) as the longest rail tunnel in world after it was opened in June 2016 for its maiden ride.

Key Facts
  • GBT is the first flat low-level route through the Alps Mountain. It is situated 2.3 km deep under these mountains and57-kilometer long.
  • It connects northern and southern Europe and also shortens travel time for many rail routes
  • It was built in 17 years’ time frame starting in 1992 as a part of AlpTransit project, also known as New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA).
  • It consists of two single-track tunnels connecting Erstfeld (Uri) with Bodio (Ticino) and passing below Sedrun (Graubünden).
  • The main purpose of the GBT is to increase total transport capacity across the Alps, especially for freight.

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Gotthard Base Tunnel: World’s longest and deepest rail tunnel inaugurated

The world’s longest and deepest railway tunnel Gotthard Base Tunnel was inaugurated in Switzerland. The full service of twin-bore tunnel will begin in December 2016.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel is 57-kilometer long and connects northern and southern Europe and also shortens travel time for many rail routes.

It has overtaken Japan’s Seikan tunnel, which measures 53.9 kilometers, as the longest rail tunnel in the world.

Key Facts

  • The twin-bore Gotthard Base Tunnel is the first flat low-level route through the Alps Mountain and is situated 2.3 km deep under the Alps.
  • It was built in 17 years by 2,400 workers, at a cost of over 12 billion dollars as a part of the AlpTransit project, also known as New Railway Link through the Alps (NRLA).
  • The project consists of two single-track tunnels connecting Erstfeld (Uri) with Bodio (Ticino) and passing below Sedrun (Graubünden).
  • The construction of the tunnel began in 1996 after 64% of Swiss voters in a 1992 referendum had accepted the AlpTransit project.
  • The drilling operations in the eastern tunnel were completed in October 2010.
  • Main purpose of the Gotthard Base Tunnel: (i) Increase total transport capacity across the Alps, especially for freight. (ii) Shift freight volumes from road to rail to reduce fatal crashes and environmental damage caused by ever-increasing numbers of heavy lorries. (iii) Provide a faster connection between northern and southern Europe, cutting journey time for passenger trains by about an hour.

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