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Gotthard base tunnel breakthrough (Photos)

In more happy miner news, "Sissi," a massive drilling machine, chewed through the final few meters of rock at the Gotthard Base Tunnel on Friday, creating the world's longest train tunnel. With a length of 35 miles crossing the Alps, the tunnel should become operational at the end of 2017. The construction costs will run about $13.6 billion. Here are some photographs of the tunnel and the breakthrough ceremony:

Miners celebrate after the drill machine 'Sissi' broke through the rock (Christian Hartmann/AP).

A miner stands in front of the drill machine 'Sissi' after it broke through the rock. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters).

A small chapel in memory of the eight miners killed during the construction of the tunnel hangs on the wall of the tunnel. (Arno Balzarini/AP)

A worker takes a break in the tunnel. (Martin Ruetschi/AP)

Miners celebrate after the breakthrough. (Martin Ruetschi/AP)

Miners shake hands after the breakthrough. (Martin Ruetschi/AP)

Chief miner Hubert Baer (R) is presented a statue of Saint Barbara, the patron saint of miners. (Martin Ruetschi/AP)

By Melissa Bell  | October 15, 2010; 12:24 PM ET
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Posted by: mizage | October 15, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Take that Chris Christie! If they can get through the Alps, you can get another tunnel from NJ to NYC.
This just drives home how lame US transit efforts are. Amtrak recently announced that it would take 30 years to get the trains on the east coast up to European or Chinese standards. We'd be better off completing our sellout to China (we're already half owned by them) and then we could get up to date technology in this country.

Posted by: blankspace | October 15, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

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