It took 15 years, 3,000 workers, €9.1 billion (US $12.7 billion) - and thousands of bearings made by The Timken Company - to make way for Switzerland's colossal 57km (35.4-miles) Gotthard base railway tunnel. The tunnel is the world's longest, most deeply set passage of its kind.
Four Herrenknecht Gripper tunnel-boring machines completed the work, which excavated and secured two parallel, main-tunnel tubes of more than 85km (52.8 miles), for a combined expanse of 114km (70.8 miles). Since 2003, the cutter assemblies in these machines required thousands of Timken standard and P900 tapered roller bearings. Frequent bearing replacement helped the machinery manage grueling loads and difficult conditions while making the passageway through the mountains.
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