(DAILY KOS) November 20, 2015 — While we’re “debating” torture, access to basic health care and the veracity of climate change, the rest-of-the-world is simply advancing transformational infrastructure like you would not believe.
In Switzerland, the world’s longest rail tunnel — straight through the Alps — is about to open.
At 57 kilometres, the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which will travel through the Alps between the northern portal of Erstfeld and Bodio in the south, will become the longest rail tunnel in the world once complete, stripping the title from Japan’s 53.85 kilometre Seikan Tunnel.
Meanwhile, the ancient tunnels between New York City and New Jersey — dating from 1910 and about 4,400 meters long — are so old — and damaged from recent hurricanes — that they risk forced closure — and economic catastrophe for America’s largest city — at any time.
Losing one of the current tunnels would be a commuting nightmare, but getting financial support for Gateway will be be difficult, said Len Resto, New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers president.”The situation gets more dire day by day,” Resto said. “You will get delays unacceptable to the riding public and it will become an economic factor. There’s only so much that employers will put up with if people can’t get to work on time.”
Italy now boasts Europe’s fastest high-speed train — capable of speeds up to 400 km/h (249 mph) — that will cut travel times between Rome and Milan — about the distance between Washington, D.C. and Providence — to two hours and some change.