The world’s largest railway tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland, was blessed on June in a ceremony attended by an inter-faith group of religious leaders.
A Catholic priest, a pastor, a rabbi and an imam were present at the ceremony.
The completion of the 57-kilometre (35.4 mile) tunnel through the Alps after almost two decades of construction work will be greeted later in the morning with great fanfare with the leaders of France, Germany and Italy on hand.
The Gotthard Base Tunnel eclipses Japan’s 53.8-kilometre Seikan Tunnel as the world’s longest and burrows deeper – 2.3 kilometres (1.4 miles) – than any other rail tunnel.
It’s taken 17 years to build and cost 12.2 billion Swiss francs (about 12 billion US dollars).
The thoroughfare aims to cut travel times, ease roadway traffic and draw cargo from pollution-spewing lorries trucking between Europe’s north and south.
Once it opens for commercial service in December, the two-way tunnel will take up to 260 freight trains and 65 passenger trains per day.
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