Thursday, December 1, 2011

Boring Machine

Awesome image from Reuters Best photos of the year 2011:

REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

After the intersection of the first 35.41 mile long tube of the Gotthard Base Tunnel on October 15, 2010 the final break-through in the second parallel single track tunnel took place on March 23 this year. More than twenty years of planning and construction work at the world’s longest railway tunnel crossing the Swiss Alps took a crucial hurdle.
Together with miners and a group of journalists I was shuttled from the Alptransit construction camp in the southern Swiss town of Faido by bus through a side access tunnel to the station of a mining railroad deep in the mountains. It took us 45 minutes by train to reach the venue of the intersection ceremony underneath the St. Gotthard massif.
A sound and light show accompanied the noise and heavy vibrations of the giant 4,500 horsepower strong boring machine ‘Heidi’, with a diameter of nine yards, on its way through the last meters of granite. As the machine had finished its job a miner climbed over the fallen rocks to welcome his colleagues from the other side of the intersection.

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, lens 24-70mm at 40mm, f6.3, 1/250sec, ISO 2500

Caption: A miner climbs on excavated rocks after a giant drill machine broke through at the final section Sedrun-Faido, at the construction site of the NEAT Gotthard Base Tunnel March 23, 2011. Crossing the Alps, the world's longest train tunnel should become operational at the end of 2016. The project consists of two parallel single track tunnels, each of a length of 57 km (35 miles). REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

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