57 km (37 miles) long, 2.3 km (1.4 miles) under the ground. Planning began in 1947. Due to bureaucratic delays, construction did not begin until 1999. 17 years to build. Cost: $12 billion.

The tunnel provides a duller way to travel. Before the tunnel, the only route was a zigzagging, undulating route with breathtaking views of the Alps.


Holland (France’s president) and Merkel (Germany’s chancellor) on the inaugural ride through the tunnel added to the excitement of the tunnel’s opening

Spectacular  Opening Ceremony

Cirque du Soleil beware, you may have stiff competition coming along here, unless they find another tunnel to dig.

B Swiss Gottard opening ceremony priest


B Swiss tunnel swinging workmen dancers

marching on rail car

B Swiss Gottard opening ceremony marching in

B Swiss Gottard opening ceremony dancers

Enthralled spectators

Enthralled spectators

Switzerland Gotthard: World’s longest and deepest rail tunnel opens” in BBC News

Tunnel Wars — it’s exciting to watch these battles, the pace is nice and slow :

B 7 largest tunnels in world