The day the longest railway tunnel was opened – level 3


The Gotthard Base Tunnel is in Switzerland and it runs under the Alps. The tunnel is 57 kilometers long, making it the longest tunnel in the world at the time of its opening in 2016.

The construction of the tunnel began in November 1999 and took over 16 years to complete. It required the excavation of over 28 million tons of rock and the tunnel cost over $10 billion to build.

Over 2,500 workers were involved in the construction process, which included drilling and blasting through the hard rock of the Alps.

The tunnel is not only the longest railway tunnel in the world, but it is also one of the deepest. It runs up to 2.3 kilometers below the surface of the mountains.

The tunnel was officially opened on 1 June 2016 in a ceremony attended by Swiss and European leaders.

Difficult words: excavation (digging out), blasting (destroying by using an explosion).

What advantages does the Gotthard Base Tunnel offer that were not previously available?


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