Switzerland has opened the largest and deepest railway tunnel across the Alps.
One of the world’s biggest engineering marvels, the 57.1 km long Gotthard Base Tunnel will reduce travel time between Zurich and Milan by one hour making it a 2 hour and 50 minute journey.
The $10.3 billion project consists of two 57-kilometres-long single-track tubes, on which trains can travel at a maximum speed of 250 kilometres per hour.
It is also the first flat route through the Alps or any other major mountain range, with a maximum height of 549 metres above sea level.
Built by AlpTransit Gotthard AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Swiss Federal Railways, the tunnel surpasses the Seikan Tunnel in Japan.
Around 2,000 workers toiled over 20 years to build this tunnel. Nine workers lost their lives during the construction.
A straight route with no curves or level crossings on the overground sections, the Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnels together make the project one of the world's most outstanding engineering projects.
Around 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains will travel across the two-tube tunnel daily once final testing ends later this year.