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Gotthard Base Tunnel: Switzerland completes the construction of the world’s largest tunnel in 17 Years

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Swiss Federal President Johann Schneider-Ammann, right, speaks with French President Francois Hollande, left, on the opening day of the Gotthard rail tunnel, the longest tunnel in the world, at the fairground Rynaecht at the northern portal in Erstfeld, S. Image source: Reuters
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  • It took 17 years for the Swiss tunnelers to complete World’s largest tunnel
  • It is called Gotthard Base Tunnel, officially opened on June 1, 2016
  • Celebrations started on Wednesday June 1, 2016
  • The rail will be open for travelers this year, in December 2016

In this day and age everyone wants fast. Faster internet connection, faster customer service, faster results. In 1947 Swiss engineer Carl Eduard Gruner was dreaming about faster transportation. Switzerland’s Gotthard base tunnel is a staggering 35.4 miles long, and a mile and a half under the Gotthard mountain range. This tunnel stretches from Erstfeld and Bodio. The tunnel cuts commute time from Zurich to Milan by 45 minutes; that is fast.

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Before opening the tunnel as a means of public transportation, the Swiss wanted to take the time to commemorate and celebrate such an amazing feat. The tunnel’s website says that the tunnel presents to the world, “Swiss values such as innovation, precision and reliability.” The celebration was far from just being a combination of Swiss values. Modern dances accompanied the opening of the tunnel, and drew much of the attention.

Swiss police officers stand beside of mock gates of the NEAT Gotthard Base Tunnel inside the event hall for the upcoming opening ceremony near the town of Erstfeld, Switzerland May 31, 2016. Image source: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Swiss police officers stand beside of mock gates of the NEAT Gotthard Base Tunnel inside the event hall for the upcoming opening ceremony near the town of Erstfeld, Switzerland May 31, 2016. Image source: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

One dance number featured dancers who wore orange construction suits an boots. They danced on and near a flatcar. Another dance featured an angelic like creatures. The dancers danced in what appeared to be white briefs. One dancer suck out wearing wings and an oversized head. One other dance number spectators watched the dancers move about the tunnel wearing suits that were said to be, “a cross between a pom-pom and a hay bale.” These dance numbers all pay tribute to the Gotthard mountain range, and the significance it holds in Swiss society.

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Dancers and spectators were the majority of people who attended the opening of the tunnel. The inauguration of this milestone also drew attention from the leaders of the EU; German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The opening also featured the traditional playing of alphorns. With this, the tunnel was blessed and the tunnel’s theme song was played.

The festivities do not stop there. This weekend a festival is planned to occur on both sides of the tunnel. There will also be a train commuting people through the tunnel from one end to the other.

This $12 billion monstrosity of a tunnel was completed on time, and Gruner’s dream came true. After 17 years of construction, 9 deaths, and $1,300 of taxes added to each person, this marvel of a tunnel has been opened. In December, the rail will be open for travelers.

Abigail Andrea is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter handle: @abby_kono

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  • Shivang Goel

    Amazing to read and know when India was coming above racial race;Independence, Swedish were thinking far too much; but the way India has progressed in recent years is marvelous according to international standards; this is a huge feat and should be celebrated for days and weeks;
    Indias pir panjal tunnel is hardly 12 kms while this is extremely amazing a 57km stretch

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6 Trendy Rakhis That Will Leave Your Brother Surprised This Raksha Bandhan

This article suggests you a list of eight trendy rakhis that are sure to bring a beaming smile on your brother’s face

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6 Trendy Rakhis That Will Leave Your Brother Surprised This Raksha Bandhan
6 Trendy Rakhis That Will Leave Your Brother Surprised This Raksha Bandhan. flickr

The auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan celebrates the ever-lasting bond between brothers and sisters. And, every year it comes, it makes the sibling bond between brothers and sisters stronger. Isn’t it? While the preparation for this festival begins, sisters get busy in finding the best rakhis for their brothers. And, since this task of finding the best and trendiest rakhis is quite stressful, this article suggests you a list of eight trendy rakhis that are sure to bring a beaming smile on your brother’s face.

 

The Sandalwood Rakhi

Rakhis made of sandalwood never go out of style as these are considered auspicious for any religious ceremony. Also, because rakhis made with other types of materials can often lead to allergy, the sandalwood rakhi becomes the safest choice. Sandalwood rakhis are usually designed with elements like cotton, flowers, or silk which add a traditional touch in one’s Raksha Bandhan celebrations.

 

The Minions Rakhi

Among the kids rakhi designs, the minions’ rakhis are the most popular one. These are a hit among the children as these look super cute. So, if you have little kid in your house who is a huge fan of the ‘Despicable me’ characters then, this rakhi is sure to bring a million dollar smile on his or her face.

 

The Zardosi Rakhi

When it comes to celebrating the festival of Raksha Bandhan in a traditional way, Zardosi rakhis make a popular choice. Zardosi rakhis are typical ethnic rakhis designed with zari thread which comes in shades of gold and silver. These rakhis resemble the royalty and look stunning in appearance. So, celebrate this Raksha Bandhan in an ethnic way with zardosi rakhis.

Rakhi
Rakhi. Flickr

The Turquoise Stone Rakhi

The turquoise stone rakhis represent royalty and elegance. There are usually designed with a central motif which is decorated with a turquoise color stone and outlined with silver linings. These rakhis can be also personalized with the initials of the recipient. Also, turquoise stones rakhis are just loved by boys.

 

The Bracelet Rakhi

Bracelet rakhis are in high demand nowadays as boys prefer wearing bracelets than threads on their wrists. These rakhis also make a great style statement and these kinds of rakhis are something that your brother would like to flaunt on his wrist. Bracelet rakhis also complement every type of attire, whether ethnic or western.

 

The Musical Rakhi

Musical rakhis are ideal for children. Apart from all sort of cartoon rakhis, a musical rakhi makes a unique rakhi for the kids. However, these are one of the most expensive rakhis

Musical Rakhi is also a designer rakhi in an interesting shape of musical instruments like a guitar or a piano or teddy bear. Kids just love Musical Rakhis and hence they make one of the trendiest rakhis.

Rakhi gifts for sister
Rakhi gifts for sister. flickr

Also read: August 7 is Rakshabandhan: Hindu Festival that Celebrates Brother-Sister Bond can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization

These were some of the trediest rakhis that you can dhop for your brother on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. These rakhis are easily available on gift shops, markets, and online gift portals. However, if you want a good quality of rakhi then, you should prefer buying them from reputed gift portals.