SEDRUN (Switzerland) - SWISS engineers have smashed through the last stretch of rock to create the longest tunnel in the world.

A gigantic drilling machine broke the remaining wall 8,200 feet (2,500 metres) below the imposing Piz Vatgira peak in the Gotthard massif several minutes ahead of schedule on Friday afternoon.

Miners, VIPs and journalists inside the tunnel cheered as Switzerland reclaimed the tunnel record from Japan's Seikan Tunnel.

The 35.4-mile (57-kilometre) Gotthard Base Tunnel is an important milestone in the creation of a high-speed rail network connecting all corners of Europe.
It will allow millions of tons of goods currently transported through the Alps on heavy trucks to be shifted onto the rails.

Swiss celebrate longest tunnel