Friday, April 29, 2005

Loetschberg Tunnel Breakthrough

Workers Celebrate Breakthrough
Workers Celebrate Breakthrough,
originally uploaded by romangame.
With a final blast through mountain granite, Swiss engineers linked Europe's north and south by completing drilling Thursday for the world's longest overland tunnel a cavernous shaft that burrows under the Swiss Alps and will shave about an hour off the travel time for skiers in Germany heading down to resorts near the Matterhorn.

The 21-mile Loetschberg tunnel is the latest in a string of engineering feats from the Channel Tunnel linking France to England to a bridge spanning Sweden and Denmark that are breaking down natural barriers in an increasingly borderless Europe.

The Loetschberg, set to open to trains in 2007, will be longer than the current overland record-holder Japan's 16.4 mile Hakkoda Tunnel and will come third overall behind the underwater Seikan Tunnel, also in Japan, and the Channel Tunnel.

Copyright: AP

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