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Travel beneath the Alps in 2017

Have you always wanted to try something new and exciting? If you think space travel would be something you would like to try someday, here is something else that may interest you, traveling by a train below the Swiss Alps! Traveling under this amazing mountain structure has been something that has only been talked about for years but now this is a reality and a very unique one at that. For the past 14 years the Gotthard Base Tunnel has been a project in the works that is breaking through the Swiss Alps. Miners have been blasting and drilling away and have been able to make some major strides and it looks as though we can all travel through the Swiss Alps in 2017.

Recently the Gotthard Base Tunnel has moved forward rapidly and has now become the world's longest tunnel. The actual journey through the tunnel is expected to be about 2-3 hours for train travelers and they will all be able to see the inner structure of the Alps.

What is it that makes this tunnel so impressive? It's been in the works since 1996 and it has encountered its fair share of difficulties as one drill actually got stuck for 6 months thanks to sand that started falling. The tunnel is actually created from the inside out. This means the tunnel was drilled into vertically and then two large drills were sent horizontally in opposite directions to drill out the tunnel. What the tunnel boasts compared to other tunnels is that it is 2 tracks that run parallel to one another. This allows one train to head in one direction and the other train to head through the other tunnel.

The east tunnel broke through the rock recently and now it is complete as far as the first phase goes and the western tunnel should break through in the spring. Why is this tunnel so beneficial besides just being a unique feature of traveling under the Swiss Alps? It will actually connect southern Germany to Northern Italy along with many other great connections like Austria to Italy. This will make travel across Europe much easier for many people and the goal is to help reduce the European Union's budget as well.

Right now the construction of the Gotthard Base Tunnel is ahead of schedule and could be ready for travel as early as 2016 versus 2017. Besides providing travel convenience this tunnel will also benefit environmental purposes. How much time can people save? It depends on traffic along with where you live but the tunnel should shave a good 30 minutes or more off your travel time. For shipping companies, this tunnel is going to be of great help as it will dramatically increase delivery time and can really cut the use of gas and production of emissions.

As more people start turning to train travel it will start to cut traffic congestion, allowing for emergency vehicles to easily get around to the needs of their callers. It also helps to keep vehicles off the road so there won't be nearly as much excess gas and emissions left in the air as they can lead to breathing problems and other concerns. This can also reduce the risk of traffic accidents and the likeliness that people will be traveling in the Swiss Alps will get lost up there as their cars break down or other problems occur.

What also makes the drilling of the Gotthard Base tunnel impressive is how the rock being removed is being used. It is a green project and all of the rock being removed is being used for other things like gravel so dredged lakes can be restored and not used for the rocks.

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