There are many in-your-face views of realities to be found at The Big Picture’s 2010 round-up of dramatic photographs. This drill, a very large tunnel-boring machine named “Sissi, is no exception at 400 meters long and geared with 60 drill heads. Its visual pattern resembles a painting. Its context makes it look like an artifact discovered during an archaeological dig. In both analogies, it’s a stunning Jules Verne-esque sight of human and machine.
Equally stunning are the statistics: 3,500 miners; 153.5 kilometers of tunnel drilled; 20 to 25 meters drilled daily, 24 million tons of rubble removed; 2,600 workers involved; 8 years passed; and a whopping 13.157 billion Swiss francs spent.
These are the results of realizing the NEAT Gotthard Base Tunnel, conceived in 1947. On October 15, the Final Section of rock was pierced:
There was celebration both below and above ground, as efforts moved closer to realizing a connecting channel that would ease transportation burdens between Zurich and Milan by the end of 2017. Eight miners who died during the tunnel’s construction were especially remembered.
- First photograph by Christian Hartmann, Switzerland
- Second photograph by Arno Balzarini
- 2010 in photos by The Boston Globe’s The Big Picture
- Gigantic Sissi creates world’s longest rail tunnel
- A Day Of Joy For Switzerland