Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Tunnel Vision

Yisrael Rutman

If your train can’t go over or around a mountain, it needs to go through it. The long and short of tunnels

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

 Mishpacha image

Photo: Shutterstock

W hat do you do when you want a railroad to go from one place to another, but there’s a mountain in the way? The train can’t go over the mountain. It can’t go around it. Sometimes, there’s no choice but to go through the mountain!

Recently, the longest railroad tunnel in the world opened, in Switzerland. Called the Gotthard Tunnel, (for the name of the mountain it goes through), the tunnel runs over 35 miles right through the middle of the Swiss Alps.

In honor of this great engineering achievement, Jr. takes a deeper look at tunnels: tunnels for travel, for war, for escape, and more…

The Biggest Tunnel in the World

As you can imagine, the biggest tunnel has big numbers to go with it: It cost $10 billion and took 17 years to build, construction crews working around the clock in three shifts. An international project, it employed thousands of workers, most of them not Swiss but Italians, Germans, Austrians, Portuguese, and others.

 

The tunnel is also the greenest ever, a monument to environmental friendliness. One of the main reasons for building it was to reduce the heavy auto traffic that was polluting the beautiful, clean air of the Alps. The Gotthard Tunnel is expected to carry 325 passenger and freight trains a day, at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. That means, for example, that the Zurich-Milan route, which took over four hours, will now take just two-and-a half hours. Sound inviting, no?

Deepest Tunnel

When we talk about a railroad going through a mountain, it sounds impressive, but how do they do it? Well, the simple answer to the question is that they do it the same way you’re probably imagining it — by digging.

Of course, this isn’t exactly like the digging you do on the beach. It takes huge machines to bore a hole through a mountain large enough for a train tunnel to go through. And equally huge trucks to carry away all the rock and dirt that’s getting dug out.

The Gotthard broke all digging records. It’s the world’s deepest train tunnel, reaching as far as 7,500 feet under the mountain’s surface. That meant digging out 31 million tons of rock — enough to build five Egyptian pyramids!

Related Stories

F is for Friendship: Fair Game

Ruchama Schnaidman

One of the most important things I learned was how to read my best friend’s face. But not her mind.

My Hero

Henya Rochel Weingarten

As the only girl from my eighth-grade class attending Bais Bracha High School, I was having a rough ...

The Bear Family: Ahuva Bear Brings Home a Friend

Yael Mermelstein

“It’s important to me that I get to meet your friends and I’d like you to invite her over this week,...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"