back to article Swiss effectively disappear Alps: World's largest tunnel opens

Tunnel nerds, rejoice. The Swiss are today celebrating the opening of the world's largest underground passage to mark its completion 17 years after construction began. The €12bn (£8.5bn) Gotthard base tunnel is 57km (35 miles) long and will overtake Japan's 53.85km Seikan railway tunnel to become the world's largest and …

  1. TRT Silver badge

    73 different kinds of rock...

    Oh yes. Isn’t that interesting.

    Interesting? It’s frightening!

    Is it? Well, actually it just looks like a slice of layer cake to me.

    Why did you say it looked interesting then?

    Oh, well, I’m quite interested in layer cake.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 73 different kinds of rock...

      Ha! Presumably the soft, crumbly kind of rock is actually an entire archaeological layer of compressed Toblerone.

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: 73 different kinds of rock...

        Don't forget the section that was made from Treacle...

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: 73 different kinds of rock...

      Including asbestos. I've met one of the 'drivers' of the tunnelling machine in 2007 or so in a seminar on the safety regulations regarding working with/handling the stuff.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 73 different kinds of rock...

      Hmm, lots of rocks, 24h operation.

      Rock around the clock?

      Yeah, yeah, I know, don't give up the day job..

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: 73 different kinds of rock...

        So, what was the third rock?

  2. Mike Richards Silver badge

    There's got to be a joke here

    A 'Catholic priest, a pastor, a rabbi and an imam walk into a tunnel...'

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's got to be a joke here

      ... never to be seen again?

    2. Harry the Bastard

      Re: There's got to be a joke here

      and a spaghetti monster flies out

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: There's got to be a joke here

      OK, a "catholic" is obvious, a rabbi is jewish and an iman is muslim, but what's a "pastor"? Does it involve spaghetti?

      1. cd

        Re: There's got to be a joke here

        So the tunnel could be pastor-ised.

      2. Fazal Majid

        Protestant

        Switzerland is the home of Calvinism, after all.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Protestant

          Standing in the vast mouth of the tunnel, overcome with awe, the Imam says to the others, "Alhamdulillah! The inside of a mountain is indeed a holy place. This reminds me, it was in a cave in a mountain where Allah revealed the holy Qu'ran to The Prophet, peace be upon him."

          The Catholic priest says "Hail Mary, mother of God! Mountains are magical, mystical places. This tunnel reminds me that it was in a hole in a mountain, surrounded by rock, where Our Lord Jesus Christ's body lay for three days before he was resurrected."

          The Pastor says "Quite, quite. Praise God, rock of ages. Since time immemorial a place of safety. I am reminded that The Old Testament tells us it was in caves in the mountains that the people of Israel hid from persecution by the Midianites."

          Nodding sagely in religious contemplation the three await the Rabbi's comment. After a few moments of silence, they realise the Rabbi isn't with them any more. Looking around, they see him running down the tunnel, robes billowing out behind him. "Hey!" they cry out after him. "Where are you going?"

          "Hallelujah! I saw the sign pointing towards Switzerland and it reminded me of where the Nazi's hid my family's gold!"

      3. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

        "but what's a "pastor"? Does it involve spaghetti?"

        Nah, just another name of the guy that gets paid to yell at you once a week to make you feel guilty for being alive.

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

      5. Uffish

        Re: What's a pastor

        Probably married.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There's got to be a joke here

      ... and are attacked by an angel with a Giant Baby Donald Trump Head?

  3. IanRS

    Swiss efficiency

    I do not know whether the project stayed on time or on budget compared to the initial estimates, but I cannot imagine the UK being able to complete such a project at such a 'low' cost. Only half a billion pounds a year? They can't have used enough consultants! After all, look at how the projected costs of HS2 keep going up.

    1. breakfast

      Re: Swiss efficiency

      Our local tunnel was built in the UK and it came in on time and on budget, so it can happen.

      On average it has only had to be closed a few nights every month for the five years since it opened, because they cut so many corners on the quality of the equipment used during construction...

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Swiss efficiency

        Our local tunnel was built in the UK

        Probably a wise decision, they're a bugger to transport.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          Probably a wise decision, they're a bugger to transport.

          It's not the delivery; it's the installation.

      2. Ken 16 Silver badge
        Trollface

        There's your problem

        You should have had your tunnel built in Switzerland and shipped in once complete.

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Swiss efficiency

        @breakfast

        Hindhead Tunnel?

        1. breakfast

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          Yup.

          The kind of large scale engineering project that only goes ahead in a safe Tory seat.

      4. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Swiss efficiency

        "On average it has only had to be closed a few nights every month for the five years since it opened, because they cut so many corners on the quality of the equipment used during construction..."

        And because the road it bypassed was closed as soon as the tunnel opened and was subequently ripped up with a lot of haste, traffic has to take a 20-30 mile detour to get around the blockage.

        "Quality" Brutish Workmanship.

    2. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Swiss efficiency

      The BBC News article confirms:

      On-time

      In-budget.

      Maybe we can learn something from them.

      1. Yugguy

        Re: Swiss efficiency

        Yep - like don't be in the EU.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          "Yep - like don't be in the EU."

          Yes, all we need to do to be on a par is to double our wages so that we are able match the cost of living in Switzerland.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          Quote: "Yep - like don't be in the EU."

          And yet, once you take into account how much money the UK gets back from the EU (rebates, investments etc), the Swiss actually contribute more per head into the EU than the UK does. Clever that!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Swiss efficiency

            "And yet, once you take into account how much money the UK gets back from the EU (rebates, investments etc), the Swiss actually contribute more per head into the EU than the UK does. Clever that!"

            Any citations / evidence?

          2. Finder Keeper

            Re: Swiss efficiency

            You cannot count investments as "money the UK gets back from the EU," unless those are funds coming directly out of the EU budget. Investments by private corporations may benefit from EU membership, but are not a direct result of it.

            A lot of foreign investments in developed countries come from other countries. That is a benefit of free trade (eg EFTA/WTO, bilateral agreements) rather than any transnational government.

        3. Mutton Jeff

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          just connect to it with a effin great big tunnel.

        4. Yugguy

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          I might have guessed you'd all be short-stroking it for the EU.

          I frequent several German-made car forums and the vast majority are for Leave.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Swiss efficiency

        at least when bemoaning the British dis-ability to stay on target, budget-wise, let's think Schadenfreunde, let's think Berlin Airport (not to mention their Hauptbahnhof, and an opera house. In Koeln or Hamburg, if memory serves me).

        There, I already feel better ;)

        1. Fortycoats

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          If you mean the Hauptbahnhof that is a black hole for public money, then I think you mean "Stuttgart 21". The opera house is indeed in Hamburg - the Elbphilharmonie. How an ugly eggbox like that can cost over €800m (and counting) is hard to comprehend. But nothing beats BER Airport.

          1. Ripper38
            Headmaster

            Re: Swiss efficiency

            OK, I'll bite: Stuttgart 21, Elbphilharmonie, BER Airport are all in Germany, so the connection is what? Nothing to do with Swiss efficiency either but never mind, the French built quite a nifty theme park... about wine. Huh! Who'd a thought it: http://www.businessinsider.com/theme-park-for-wine-lovers-france-2016-5

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Swiss efficiency

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nb6Not_p8oc

              Berlin Airport? I didn't recall, but these guys ^^^^ helpfully summarise the details by way of a song and a Playmobil reconstruction.

      3. Natalie Gritpants

        Re: Swiss efficiency

        It is under a mountain i.e. nobody's back yard.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          It is under a mountain i.e. nobody's back yard

          I think these critters would beg to differ - it was their backyard!

          Common lizards, adders and slow-worms found at Boundless Valley were relocated to National Trust land at Highcombe Edge while grass snakes were taken to Hurthill Copse

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindhead_Tunnel

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          "It is under a mountain i.e. nobody's back yard."

          Several mountains and several hundred backyards.

          Also several major fault lines. It's an impressive piece of work, especially considering that in these kinds of tunnelling projects it's never _quite_ certain what you'll encounter no matter how much seismic imaging you throw at the problem.

          Amongst other things, the Swiss factored in time for delays for such things (which weren't needed), unlike british projects which are run on hopelessly optimistic timelines (Crossrail was relatively straightforward as the geology is very well known and it was archeology which was the big delay factor) and never designed to cater to slight usage expansions, resulting in having to "do it over" when the project proves insufficient for the task.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Swiss efficiency

        Or maybe they learnt from the Crossrail team, achieving exactly the same.

        The Programme Team there have been absolutely ruthless at allowing no project creep, with the one exception of the extension from Maidenhead to Reading. Therein lies the way to achieve the holy grail of on-time, on-budget.

        uk.gov IT could learn a thing or two from that.....

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          Crossrail, really?

          The project planned in the 1940's and still yet to happen?

          It's easy to be "in-budget" when nobody remembers what the original budget even was.

          It's easy to be "on-time" when you still haven't delivered anything and "on-time" is supposed to be 2017 (or actually 2018 now, possibly).

          Literally, Crossrail is the entire antithesis of your counterpoint.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Swiss efficiency

            I wouldn't call lines on maps in the 1940's a "plan"

            Now, if you were talking Thameslink "2000", I'd agree with your case.

            But Crossrail is absolutely getting it right.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Swiss efficiency

          Or maybe they learnt from the Crossrail team, achieving exactly the same.

          You mean, the Swiss also used German tunnelling machines? :)

    3. kmac499

      Re: Swiss efficiency

      To keep the costs down the Swiss had the core of the tunnel built in a distant 'bestshore' environment where it is was packed up shipped to Schweiz, once there it was unfolded on site . It was then a simple job of lining it and fitting a cuckoo clock at each end...

  4. breakfast
    Coat

    Tunnels aren't as good when everybody likes them

    Oh great, now everyone's all "hey check out this tunnel in Switzerland" - I preferred it when it was underground.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Tunnels aren't as good when everybody likes them

      Groan.

    2. wolfetone Silver badge

      Re: Tunnels aren't as good when everybody likes them

      You Tunnel Hipsters make me sick.

      "I liked Tunnels way back, even before The Great Escape".

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Tunnels aren't as good when everybody likes them

        I liked tunnels before they were artificially cooled.

  5. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Boffin

    What's a couple of hundred meters between friends?

    > The completed tunnel travels up to 2.3km below the surface of the mountains above and through rock that reaches temperatures of 46˚C without ventilation due to a high lithostatic pressure from rock above it – which can measure up to 2,500m in some sections*.

    So which is it? 2.3km or 2.5km?

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: What's a couple of hundred meters between friends?

      Both. Plus all the other values between 0 and 2,500 m.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: What's a couple of hundred meters between friends?

        Is it a still a tunnel if the overhead rock is 0m thick?

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: What's a couple of hundred meters between friends?

      And the temperature is fuck all to do with the lithostatic pressure ffs. Its due to the insulating effect of the rock above it 'trapping' heat slowly escaping from the earth.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's a couple of hundred meters between friends?

        I was also a bit curious why they didn't try to use this heat source... to heat things like local houses.

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: What's a couple of hundred meters between friends?

          > I was also a bit curious why they didn't try to use this heat source...

          It's only hot because it's insulated - by the "up to" 1 1/2 miles of rock above it. The amount of heat will probably be quite small and be removed fairly quickly.

          That's the problem with geothermal energy - once you start taking heat out of rocks they get cooler. The rate you can take the heat out is limited by the rate at while the heat flows through the surrounding rocks to replenish what you've taken out - and that's generally relatively low for the same reason (that there's a large amount of rock between the heat source and where you are trying to take it out.

          TL;DR version - there won't be enough heat to make it worth while.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: What's a couple of hundred meters between friends?

            "TL;DR version - there won't be enough heat to make it worth while."

            Which is the same reason why geothermal plants aren't worth building(*), except in a few very limited cases where you're on top of a magmatic hotspot such as Iceland.

            (*) The heat they produce is low grade, resulting in thermally inefficient production and the heat output declines substantially over time no matter how many new boreholes are sunk. On top of that you often have "interesting" side effects - the Icelandic hot lake being one, but "The Craters of the Moon" at Wairaki being a more common counterpoint that's not particularly beneficial unless you happen to be a tourist (plus you need to get rid of the bore water, which is invaribly highly polluted with dissolved "stuff", either by reinjecting it into another bore (high energy requirements) or dumping it in a river with associated fishkill, etc.)

            1. Vic

              Re: What's a couple of hundred meters between friends?

              Which is the same reason why geothermal plants aren't worth building

              Well, the Southampton plant seems to be doing quite well.

              Vic.

      2. Seajay#

        Temperature and lithostatic pressure

        @Tom

        That's what I came here to say too.

        1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Temperature and lithostatic pressure

          Me too. My copy-and-paste buffer contains this, "rock that reaches temperatures of 46˚C without ventilation due to a high lithostatic pressure from rock above it "

          i.e. In my basement I've squeezed a big rock in a big vice. It's been heating my house for the past 26 years. It just stays at 46°C, like, forever. Amazing...

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Temperature and lithostatic pressure

            To be fair, lithostatic pressure can release some heat; it can raise the melting point of a stratum to the point where it crystallizes, releasing latent heat (phase-change energy) via conduction. (As this source notes there can be a net heat gain, or loss, from changes from one solid phase to another as well, of course.)

            But, yeah, it's not going to be the primary contributor.

            In my basement I've squeezed a big rock in a big vice. It's been heating my house for the past 26 years.

            Given a big enough vise (not "vice"), a big enough rock, and enough of a squeeze, and that would work. Well, and enough tolerance for the heat output. You'd get back as much energy as you put in, less what's absorbed into phase-change latencies.

            It just stays at 46°C, like, forever.

            Again, given a big enough sample, you could achieve an effect that, while it wouldn't be exactly 46C or "forever", would remain close enough to that temperature for quite a while.

            As reductio ad absurdam goes, you need more absurdam.

  6. wolfetone Silver badge

    Does the tunnel have a way of being blown up to protect Switzerland, like they do with their bridges?

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Not just the bridges

      I don't know about this new tunnel, but when I traveled through the Gotthard road tunnel a couple of years ago (actually, that was one of the highlights of the holiday, in a slightly sad and tragic way) I was told that it was fitted with explosive charges.

      1. Permidion

        Re: Not just the bridges

        pretty much all old tunnels have been fitted with explosive,

        and they are slowly and costly getting removed,

        at this time this process is not finished.

  7. Buzzword

    Deaths

    Although nine workers did indeed die during the construction, other sources explain that:

    "none of these incidents were related to hazards specific to the project - rock fall, blasting, fire or toxic gases - but rather came from hazards found on any construction site".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deaths

      I wonder if that comes as a comfort or an annoyance to those that they left behind. If someone you know and love is killed on some landmark construction project might there be a small degree of comfort that they met their demise in a slightly heroic could-only-happen-on-a-project-like-this accident, rather than some mundane 'could happen anywhere' workaday mishap?

  8. Efros

    You should go and have

    a butcher's at the opening ceremony, somebody was smoking something a little bit too strong in the planning of that I think.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36423250

    1. jzl

      Re: You should go and have

      Good grief. That's camper than a forest full of tents.

    2. 2460 Something

      Re: You should go and have

      Love the bit at the end of this BBC article. They've done their own helpful conversions.

      Concrete: 4,000,000 cubic metres or 84 empire state buildings.

      'Copper Cable: 3200km, more than half the distance between London and New York"

      1. DougS Silver badge

        84 Empire State buildings

        I'm not familiar with that unit. Does that represent the amount of concrete used in the construction of the Empire State building, or an amount of concrete equal to the volume of the Empire State building?

        1. Anonymous Cow Herder

          Re: 84 Empire State buildings

          I hate it when they use non standard units.

          An empire state building is 0.4762 cubic football fields. And so you can visualize the length of the tunnel, its 741.5 Jumbo jets, wingtip to wingtip, (the last one will not fly because it has only one wing

          Hope that helps.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: You should go and have

      Holy crap! That is freakin' bizzare. What's all the Dr Who furry caterpillar acrobatics about? Did they dig something out that had been trapped for 14 million years? When they come to open the (*spit*) Elizabeth Line, I hope it's a much more English affair. Sadiq Khan with a tartan thermos of tea, looking at his watch every now and again, reading the Metro until the train pulls in to the platform and he gets up and says "Ay. S'all-reet that is. It'll do, I reckon."

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Ragarath

    Rottadam!

    This could be Rotterdam or anywhere

    Liverpool or Rome

    'Cause Rotterdam is anywhere

    Anywhere alone

    Anywhere alone

  11. Vortex

    High Lithostatic pressure making it hot.

    How does that work then?

    1. Richard 81

      Re: High Lithostatic pressure making it hot.

      SCIENCE!

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: High Lithostatic pressure making it hot.

      Boyles law? (is rock just a very, very dense gas waiting to be liberated by heat and pressure?)

      I also heard that they had to take special engineering account of the pressure induced weight of all that rock above so that the tunnel doesn't deform too much and eventually get squished out of existence.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: High Lithostatic pressure making it hot.

        "I also heard that they had to take special engineering account of the pressure induced weight of all that rock above"

        "The softer rock threatened to deform the tunnel, so engineers had to develop a new concept for tunnel engineering - flexible steel ribs that were anchored into the tunnel walls and then lined with concrete to absorb the rock pressure and protect the integrity of the tunnel. It was the first time so-called tunnel-lining machines were used in railway tunnel construction."

        [http://eandt.theiet.org/magazine/2015/10/gotthard-base-tunnel.cfm ]

    3. jzl

      Re: High Lithostatic pressure making it hot.

      "How does that work then?"

      It doesn't. Boyle's law only specifies that temperature changes when you change pressure, not when the pressure is static.

      The answer is that the crust of the Earth gets hot fast as you go underground. Because the Earth is hot inside.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How much cheaper than HS2?????

    As always, the usual snouts are in the British government's trough.

    1. John Miles 1

      Re: How much cheaper than HS2?????

      Cost per mile seems pretty comparable to HS2.

      HS2 just has to be laid across open countryside rather than blasted through mile after mile of solid rock. What is all the HS2 money going on ?

      1. Timmay

        Re: How much cheaper than HS2?????

        Compulsory purchase orders for land? You don't have to buy land underground...

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: How much cheaper than HS2?????

          I'd imagine a lot of HS2 money will go on buying up land that was mysteriously bought up just before the planned route was announced.

        2. jzl

          Re: How much cheaper than HS2?????

          Which does make you wonder if the better option for HS2 would be to simply tunnel it all.

  13. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Map, or it didn't happen.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. DropBear Silver badge
      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. itzman
    Paris Hilton

    And all because the lady...

    ..loves Black Magic.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where is the biggest tunnel in the siolar system?

    That would be Uranus, Tony.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "For us, conquering the Alps is like the Dutch exploring the oceans,"

    really? that's the model they aspire to?

  17. thenim
    Pint

    All the banter aside..

    Here's a pint to the engineers (and ehem, project managers) on this!

    1. Nunyabiznes
      Pint

      Re: All the banter aside..

      And to the workers!

  18. Nunyabiznes

    Never happen here.

    Well, it might get done. Eventually. Over budget, over time and come out in the wrong spot.

    Plus it would only be half as long and would collapse, naturally just AFTER the dignitaries had left and the glowing news articles had been published.

    Most of the overage in cost would be in attorneys fighting to get permission to dig to start with. I'm sure at least 20 years would be eaten up making sure that some worm (who can not be genetically differentiated from many other worms but does have a slightly different coloration) that only lives in one cave could be saved from the trauma of a tunnel being blasted within a few meters. The only way to prevent that trauma would be to give lots of money in fees to "Friends of the slightly discolored cave worm".

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: Never happen here.

      The high cost of HS2 is primarily because it's had to swallow up the costs of rebuilding Euston. (Network Rail were about to green-light a rebuild to their own design around the time HS2 was announced. Network Rail then realised they could get HS2 Ltd. to pay for their grand plan.)

      It has also been forced to put lots more of the line into tunnels to appease the usual NIMBYs and BANANAs along the route.

      In fairness, the Channel Tunnel isn't all that much shorter and is still working today. It also took rather less than 17 years to build, though the high-speed link (today's HS1) took substantially longer to design, build and open.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Never happen here.

        "It also took rather less than 17 years to build"

        Chalk is somewhat softer than granite and basalt (amongst other things)

        The irony is that this tunnel is one of the biggest NIMBY projects ever - being driven by the Swiss dislike of an endless processing of heavy transport through their picturesque mountain towns.

  19. Will Shaw

    Wait for it...

    This has to be the most boring thing I have ever heard of.

    I'll get my coat.

    1. Spudley

      Re: Wait for it...

      > This has to be the most boring thing I have ever heard of.

      >

      > I'll get my coat.

      Heh, yep, that's the usual drill around here; waiting for someone to grind out a bad pun.

      Oh, cheer up: I've used up a few more of the puns now, so there's light at the end of the tunnel.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Wait for it...

      Wait until you've had it drilled into your head a few times - then tell me it's boring!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seconds From Disaster

    Kudos to the Swiss... Hope to use the tunnel sometime, but fingers crossed all lessons have been learned from this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Blanc_Tunnel#The_1999_fire

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Blanc_tunnel_fire

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seconds_From_Disaster

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Seconds From Disaster

      One of the other Gotthard tunnels has already had a disaster, and more recently than the Mont Blanc incident. One would assume there was a 'lessons learned' session following that

    2. BurnT'offering

      Re: fingers crossed all lessons have been learned

      Nah. I reckon they said, "Let's just wing it. s'Only a bleedin' tunnel, innit?"

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Seconds From Disaster

      I prefer this.

  21. ecofeco Silver badge

    Amazing!

    Congratulations to them!

  22. DougS Silver badge

    This thing cost less than Boston's Big Dig

    Took as long, was on budget instead of 190% over budget, covered 10x the distance and probably will have fewer problems (leaks etc.) in the future.

    Granted it didn't have existing infrastructure in the way, but it went through a fucking Alp! Guess we should have hired the Swiss for it.

  23. Katie Saucey
    Pirate

    Pretty cool but..

    I bet it is going to get annoying fast when the train keeps stopping halfway through to let Dr. Doom's henchmen on and off

  24. ratfox Silver badge

    We have already voted to build the next tunnel, this time for cars. It's sadly going to be way more expensive than other solutions reusing existing tunnels, but hey, the digging industry needs to make a living innit?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Linings. Tunnel, pocket, anything really.

  25. Sysgod

    the movie

    I want to see the movie...power out, society dead, and a group of people have to make it through this hellish tunnel...

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: the movie

      The opening ceremony was the stage version of that.

  26. ggrice

    Impressive project, I wonder will it be upgraded eventually to Hyper Loop tech :)

  27. Brian Allan 1

    And all that great Swiss engineering with fail with one minor earthquake! Voila, poof, no tunnel!!

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