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Switzerland: Opening of World's longest and deepest rail tunnel brings Merkel and Renzi02:37

Switzerland: Opening of World's longest and deepest rail tunnel brings Merkel and Renzi

Switzerland, Erstfeld
June 1, 2016 at 15:30 GMT +00:00 · Published

The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest and deepest railway tunnel in the world, officially opened in Erstfeld, Wednesday. President of the Swiss Confederation Johann Schneider-Ammann and Swiss Minister of Transport Doris Leuthard attended the opening ceremony, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

At the ceremony, Schneider-Ammann called the event "a historical day" for Switzerland, which marks "a century's worth of work."

The Swiss minister of transport noted that the Gotthard Base Tunnel will not only shorten the geographical distance between Ticino and inner Switzerland, but also bring "north and south of Europe" closer.

The tunnel, which has been under construction for the past seventeen years, will be 57 kilometres (35 miles) long and will allow trains to travel up to 250 kilometres (155 miles) an hour, dividing travel time between Zurich and Milan by half and reducing it to two and a half hours.

Over the following weekend, some 50,000 - 100,000 visitors are expected to come to the celebrations of the tunnel opening. The celebrations will take place in Rynaecht, Erstfeld, Pollegio and Biasca and will include such attractions as tunnel rides with the Gotthard shuttle train, performances, presentations by Swiss artists and a multimedia exhibition.

Switzerland: Opening of World's longest and deepest rail tunnel brings Merkel and Renzi02:37
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Description

The Gotthard Base Tunnel, the longest and deepest railway tunnel in the world, officially opened in Erstfeld, Wednesday. President of the Swiss Confederation Johann Schneider-Ammann and Swiss Minister of Transport Doris Leuthard attended the opening ceremony, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

At the ceremony, Schneider-Ammann called the event "a historical day" for Switzerland, which marks "a century's worth of work."

The Swiss minister of transport noted that the Gotthard Base Tunnel will not only shorten the geographical distance between Ticino and inner Switzerland, but also bring "north and south of Europe" closer.

The tunnel, which has been under construction for the past seventeen years, will be 57 kilometres (35 miles) long and will allow trains to travel up to 250 kilometres (155 miles) an hour, dividing travel time between Zurich and Milan by half and reducing it to two and a half hours.

Over the following weekend, some 50,000 - 100,000 visitors are expected to come to the celebrations of the tunnel opening. The celebrations will take place in Rynaecht, Erstfeld, Pollegio and Biasca and will include such attractions as tunnel rides with the Gotthard shuttle train, performances, presentations by Swiss artists and a multimedia exhibition.

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