The drilling of the world’s longest tunnel beneath the Swiss Alps in Switzerland has been completed, paving the way for high-speed trains between Germany and Italy.

The two ends of the 57km (35 mile)-long Gotthard rail tunnel were connected after 14 years of construction work.

When the tunnel opens for service in 2017, around 300 trains are estimated to run through it each day at speeds of 250km/h.

The tunnel is part of a larger project to shift the current haulage of goods through the Swiss Alps to rail, driven by environmental concerns of damage to the alpine landscape.