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Gotthard Base World’s longest and deepest tunnel opens in Switzerland

The world’s longest tunnel officially opened on Wednesday, with the trailblazing rail passage under the Swiss Alps aiming to ease transit through the heart of Europe.

With political unity on the continent shaken by a massive influx of migrants and the looming threat of Britain’s EU departure, Swiss president Johan Schneider-Amman said the tunnel would “join the people and the economies” of Europe.

He spoke before the 57-kilometre (35-mile) Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) made its ceremonial first run with European leaders on board.

The passengers included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

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