Wednesday, June 01, 2016
The World's Longest Rail Tunnel
Today the world's longest rail tunnel, the Gotthard base tunnel in Switzerland, will see it's first ever train journey.
The Gotthard tunnel is 57 km long and runs under the Alps between Erstfeld and Bodio. Before the opening of the new tunnel, trains have had to use the Gotthardbahn rail tunnel. Trains using the new tunnel will be able to cut 45 minutes from their journey times.
You can view the new (and the old) tunnel on the wonderful Swiss National Railways map. The two tunnels are shown on the map with a slightly more opaque red line than the overground rail lines. The new tunnel is the one on the right (the far longer one).
The Swiss National Railways Map is an animated map of the Swiss rail network, which shows the real-time position of trains on the network based on the official train timetable. Because train positions are based on the timetable it is possible to simulate the position of trains for future dates.
The link to Swiss National Railways above will take you to a simulation of Swiss Rail for this coming Saturday. This means that you can view the tunnel in action at a time when the line is fully operational. You can change the date and time by altering these parameters in the URL and then refreshing the page.