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Switzerland Opens World's Longest Tunnel with a Bang!

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Jun 2nd, 2016, 03:22 PM
  #1
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Switzerland Opens World's Longest Tunnel with a Bang!

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/01/europe...nnel-gotthard/

After 17 years of construction the world's longest rail tunnel or any kind of tunnel I guess has opened under the Gotthard Pass - cutting one hour off the travel time between Zurich and Milan.

Trains go up to 155 mph in the tunnel.

The new tunnel wipes out much of the wonderful Alpine scenery seen before on this main rail line- no more Alps just tunnel to be seen but you can I presume still take the old line that crosses thru a much shorter tunnel at higher altitude and is a scenic ride up to it and once out of the old tunnel.

The tunnel opened with a bang- European leaders like Merkel and Hollande took the first official train thru the tunnel and before in ceremonies there was an elaborate show with weird dancers, etc.
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Jun 2nd, 2016, 06:11 PM
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Any link to video of the weird dancers? Were they local folk dancers or?

I hate those long car tunnels - the air inside is fatal. So you have to fill your car with fresh air then close the vents and rebreathe your own air until you get out the other side. But considering many of the passes don't open until May or June not much choice.

At least this is train so you're in there for a much shorter time.
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Jun 2nd, 2016, 07:04 PM
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We've been through the 17km Gotthard car tunnel many times. I agree the air can be pretty nasty, but they do have those huge ventilation fans/ducts. When I saw this thread I was hoping it meant a new car tunnel was opening, so that there would be two 2-lane roads rather than the current single 2-lane road. We have been in long waiting lines just to enter the tunnel. Traffic can be slow and even stopped if there is a truck breakdown or something similar. Been there, done that. Four lanes would really speed up the drive thru the Gotthard. We don't do trains so I doubt I get to experience the new rail line.

The Swiss know how to build nice tunnels. We drive thru a number of newer ones regularly, on different routes between Zurich and Lucerne or Zurich to Lausanne.
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Jun 3rd, 2016, 06:43 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVw_mPvYcDM

Yes a bizarre ceremony to open the new tunnel
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Jun 3rd, 2016, 11:48 AM
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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36423250

lot better detail in this coverage.
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Jun 3rd, 2016, 02:43 PM
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We don't do trains so I doubt I get to experience the new rail line.>

they may in near future shuttle cars and trucks thru the new tunnel like at the Lotschberg Tunnel - one reason the tunnel was built was to remove zillions of lorries transiting Switzerland from the roads- this will now be done by putting them on rail cars practically the whole way thru Switzerland.

Plans for a car shuttle to relieve the road tunnel simpson talks about are a foot:

http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...-shuttles.html
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Jun 3rd, 2016, 07:01 PM
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We went through the Gotthard road tunnel I believe the first year it opened. The tunnel was complete but the switchback ascending to the tunnel from the Italian side was still under construction - tons of large equipment and piles of dirt. It too forever to get up to the tunnel entrance but once we got in we drove at a steady rate.
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Jun 4th, 2016, 09:20 AM
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May be you will have a look at
http://www.sbb.ch/en/leisure-holidays/holidays--short-breaks-in-switzerland/regionen/gotthard/gottardino-special-train.marketingurl_$$$en$$$gottardino.html

From December onwards, passenger trains will cross the tunnel every 30 minutes. The journey time from Arth-Goldau to Bellinzona will take a little less than 1 hr.

The timetables for 2017 have been published long ago:
open http://www.fahrplanentwurf.ch/de/fahrplansuche/ and enter the number 600
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Jun 4th, 2016, 01:50 PM
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Switzerland is tiny and shriking with the high-speed tunnel lines - Lugano now an hour closer to Zurich!
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Jun 4th, 2016, 07:55 PM
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Thanks PalenQ for the information.
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Jun 6th, 2016, 11:23 AM
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Well it seems that regular passenger trains will not commence using the new tunnel until September when fall schedules kick in- I guess there are excursion trains charging about $50 to go thru and back and maybe freights are using the tunnel but apparently not regular passenger trains.
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Jun 6th, 2016, 03:22 PM
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http://www.railjournal.com/index.php...se-tunnel.html

Tells about when regular passenger trains will commence thru the tunnel and about the special trains you can take to experience until then.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 03:49 AM
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Palen: may be I already answered your questions with the links I gave above.
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Jun 7th, 2016, 05:25 AM
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That is one demonic celebration
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Jun 7th, 2016, 12:41 PM
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neckervd - sorry I posted that last bit about September opening without looking above - thanks for all the info from the source.

cheers!
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Jun 7th, 2016, 01:04 PM
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Nice to see that Switzerland has made some progress in the years since the first railway tunnel. I remember reading at school that hundreds of workers died during the construction of the tunnel because of appalling conditions, and that when workers tried to demonstrate for better pay and conditions the Swiss army came and shot at them.
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Jun 8th, 2016, 03:30 AM
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"Nice to see that Switzerland has made some progress"
Not Switzerland, but whole Western Europe.
BTW: I know nothing about this army thing
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