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The world's longest land railway tunnel completed in Japan

The worldConstruction engineers in Japan have broken through to make the world's longest land tunnel. At a ceremony on Sunday morning, the governor of the northern Aomori prefecture pushed a button to blast away the last bedrock in the Hakkoda mountains. The tunnel is 26.5 km (16.5 miles) long and costs more than $600 m. However, it is unlikely to hold the record for long as two longer tunnels are due for completion in Spain and Switzerland over the next two years. The previous record, set in 2002, was a 25.8-km tunnel for a railway line in a neighbouring prefecture. The land tunnel is the third longest tunnel in the world after two undersea structures - the 53.9-kilometre Seikan tunnel which was built in 1988 between Japan's Honshu and Hokkaido islands and the 50.5-kilometre "Chunnel", which was completed beneath the English Channel in 1994.

2 March 2005 -

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