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World’s longest tunnel
A winged baby, semi-naked dancers and a man with a bird’s nest on his head: How Switzerland decided to mark opening of world’s longest rail tunnel
The new £8.5bn Gotthard Base Tunnel was launched today with spectacular opening ceremony featuring 600 people
Orchestrated by German director Volker Hesse, performance included several bizarre outfits and re-enactments
Winged baby with an oversized head and dance troupe in their underwear moved to the sound of Alpine horns
The tunnel through the Swiss Alps was first conceived in sketch-form in 1947 but construction began 17 years ago
Journey time between Zurich and Milan will be cut by an hour thanks to trains hurtling along at up to 155mph
The Swiss have put on one of the most bizarre opening ceremonies in history to mark the completion of the world’s longest tunnel.
Famed for their trains, organisers roped in more than 600 dancers, acrobats and dramatic actors and even composed the new route’s very own theme tune as they pulled out all the stops for Wednesday’s inauguration at the tunnel’s northern portal in Erstfeld.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, President Francois Hollande of France and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi all came to southern Switzerland for an upbeat, glitzy celebration featuring musical bands and dancers.