Rönesans İnşaat, a large Turkish construction company, has completed the world's longest and deepest rail tunnel, Gotthard Base, in Switzerland. The 57-kilometer and 2,300-meter-deep tunnel made history and will be known as one of the greatest engineering projects of the 21st century so far, which will significantly shorten travel time between Southern and Central Europe by connecting Zürich, Switzerland to Milan and Lugano in Italy.
Rönesans İnşaat continues its progress in Europe and has formed a consortium with Hergiswill, the Swedish subsidiary of Alpine Bau GMBH, based in Austria, and Heitkamp, based in Germany. The company employs 40,000 people and has more than 500 completed and ongoing projects in 21 countries and three continents in its portfolio. Gotthard Base, which is 7 kilometers longer than the Channel Tunnel that connects the United Kingdom and France beneath the English Channel, has broken a record and gained the title of the world's longest tunnel. Previously, this record belonged to Japan's 53.85-kilometer Seikan Tunnel, which opened in 1988. Cenk Düzyol, a Rönesans İnşaat board member, said the company expects to invest 20.8 billion euros in the project that will connect northern and southern Europe by 2020 and predicts a budget of nearly 10 billion euros for Gotthard Base. "The tunnel, which plays a significant part in Europe's freight transport sector, was the continent's dream for 100 years. As Rönesans, we are proud to make this dream a reality," he added.
According to Düzyol, the tunnel will increase the transport capacity along the Alps and shorten the travel time for passenger and freight trains. Gotthard Base will shorten the distance between Zürich and Milan by one hour, reducing it to two hours and 40 minutes., "It is the latest example of construction and infrastructure technologies," Düzyol said. The tunnel is capable of accommodating 65 passenger trains and 260 freight trains a day. Furthermore, it will cut down on carbon emissions, pollution and possible accidents by moving transport from motorways to railways.