World's longest rail tunnel begins regular service in Switzerland | World news | The Guardian: "Regular rail service through the world’s longest tunnel has begun, carrying passengers deep under the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Lugano.
The famed Gotthard Base tunnel (GBT) was given a ceremonial opening in June, attracting European leaders including the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, François Hollande, for its first ride.
Sunday marked the start of normal commercial traffic through the 35-mile (57km) GBT, which took 17 years to build, at a cost of over 12bn Swiss francs (£9.3bn).
The Swiss news agency ATS reported that the first regular passenger train to use the GBT pulled out of Zurich at 6.09am (0509 GMT) and arrived in Lugano at 8.17am, with the tunnel passage shaving 30 minutes off the previous travel time.
“It’s Christmas,” Andreas Meyer, the chief of the Swiss national rail service, SBB, was quoted as saying by ATS after the journey was over."
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