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Huge tunnel network creates new railway link through the Alps
(CNN) — Thousands of feet under the Swiss Alps, a new high-speed, high-capacity railway is close to completion.
At its heart is the world's longest railway tunnel -- the 35-mile-long (or 57-kilometer) Gotthard Base Tunnel.
Everything about this $11.3 billion project is on a grand scale; at their deepest point, the GBT's twin tunnels are around 8,000 feet below the Alpine peaks. More than 2,500 people worked on its construction, carving and blasting their way through almost 30 million tonnes of granite before laying almost 250 miles of steel rails and installing thousands of miles of cables for power, signaling and communications systems.
With cross passages between the main tunnels every 1,066 feet, access tunnels and shafts the total length of the tunnel system is more than 95 miles.