After 11 years after it's initial ground breaking, the Lötschberg Tunnel has finally made history. And they are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel. Workers broke through the new base tunnel, which links the cantons of Bern and Valais, on Thursday. However, the tunnel is set to finish in another year and finally open for travel in 2007.
The piercing of the Lötschberg tunnel through the Alps can be considered yet another engineering marvel of the Swiss transport network. It is the link between the Southern Alps of the Valais and the Bernese Oberland area of Bern.
It was only in December that the backbone of the future rail network - a high-speed connection between Rothrist and Mattstetten - was opened with much ceremony.
The Lötschberg Tunnel, which is 34.6 kilometres long, will shave the travel time between Bern and Brig in canton Valais by a third. It will also shorten the journey between Germany and Milan by an hour.
Quite an exciting breakthrough for travelers and those who rely on train travel to get to Italy!