At more than 35 miles long, the Swiss Gotthard Base Tunnel is set to be the longest railroad tunnel in the world, and now it's just about here. Construction for the project is nearly finished, and tests are set to begin October 1st, the Swiss newspaper Tribune de Genève reported.
The tunnel, which started excavation in 1999, will speed travel times across the Swiss Alps, ultimately connecting Zurich and Milan with trains moving at top speeds of more than 150mph. Since the project first started, more than 31 million tons of earth have been excavated, and eight workers have died.
After the October tests, the tunnel will be just about ready to ferry its first customers: officials are planning an official opening for June 2016, with about 1,000 people eligible for the maiden voyage of the railroad.