World’s Longest Railroad Tunnel Set to Open in Switzerland Next Year

Construction materials for this huge railroad tunnel already surpassed those of the Great Pyramid.

The Gotthard Base Tunnel in the Swiss Alps is poised to be the world’s longest railroad tunnel. At 57 kilometers (35 miles) long, the tunnel will open in December of 2016 and transport more than 200 trains a day, each at an average speed of 250 kilometers per hour (that’s 155 mph).

The tunnel was conceptualized to alleviate the burden of freight traffic on Switzerland’s alpine ecosystem. Over 28 million metric tons of material were moved in its construction, which is more than was required for the Great Pyramid!

Take a look:

Traveling beneath 2,300 meters of solid rock, the trains are connected to two tunnel control centers. In case of an emergency, ventilation systems will turn on, and passengers will be directed to one of the two emergency exits and a parallel relief tunnel.

As someone who is mildly claustrophobic (OK—majorly), I actually wouldn’t mind traveling in this tunnel. Experts have conducted six months of extensive training, and plan another six months’ worth next year.

Check out this 360-degree view.

via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

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via David Leavitt / Twitter

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via Haldean Brown / Flickr

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